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Edgar Saltus: The Man   By:

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... " even the weariest river Winds somewhere safe to sea. "

1925 Pascal Covici · Publisher Chicago

Copyright 1925 Pascal Covici · Publisher CHICAGO

To the Ego using the personality ,


Peace and Progress .


Marie Saltus, Edgar Saltus Frontispiece

Facing Page

Francis Henry Saltus 6 Father of Edgar Saltus.

Edgar Saltus 10 At Two Years of Age, sitting on the Lap of His Mother, Eliza Evertson Saltus.

Edgar Saltus 12 Sixteen Years of Age.

Fac simile of Document given to Marie Saltus 116

Fac simile of Letter sent to Marie Saltus 128

Fac simile of Telegram sent to Marie Saltus 214

Mrs. J. Theus Munds 270 The Daughter of Edgar Saltus, and Her Little Son.

Marie Saltus 310 Sitting at the Table on which her Husband wrote his Books, burning Incense before a Siamese Buddha, and meditating on a Stanza from the Bhagavad Gitâ.


Without the explanation of reincarnation, the riddle of Edgar Saltus would rival that of the Sphinx. Super developed in some things, correspondingly deficient in others, he presented an exterior having the defects of his finest qualities, suffused with complexes and contradictions.

Amusements and interests looked upon as pleasurable by the many, bored him in the extreme. With likes and dislikes shared and understood by few, he lived in a world of his own. This world was inhabited by creatures of the imagination delightful beings too delightful to be real, who, having the merit of being extinguishable at will, never remained to bore him.

To write a proper biography one should have perspective. It is lacking here. That in itself makes the writing difficult. Many of those associated with Mr. Saltus' life are incarnate, and not all of them are willing to be dragged into the limelight of publicity by the point of the pen.

Where it will not offend, names are given. Where the possibility of annoyance suggests itself, initials only are used. It circumscribes one more than a little.

A brief hundred years should elapse between the passing of an interesting personality and the putting into print of his life. It would follow here, but for the fact that so many mythical and malicious tales have been circulated about Edgar Saltus since his death that the necessity for giving the facts, good, bad, and indifferent, and putting an end to the weird, wild, and fantastic stories seems urgent.

From an article published in The Bookman one would believe the astonishing fact that Mr. Saltus made a practice of sitting "on a sort of baldachined throne dispersing cigarettes ten inches long and reading Chinese poetry." From the same source it was stated that he had a "salon, and was attended by some lady of his choice not necessarily the same." As a final kick it was stated that he dyed his moustache.

Every newspaper in the country reprinted the article. What they did not reprint was a letter from me (in The Bookman also) denying the fabrications and giving the truth.

In a foreword of appreciation to a bibliography of Mr. Saltus' books, I was fortunately able to blue pencil the following, before it saw the darkness of print: "Edgar Saltus, neglected and alone, died in an obscure lodging house in the East Side of New York." The author is a delightful man writing out of the fulness of his admiration. He put in only what he had been told.

Every day brings in new and wilder tales than the preceding one. They are so fantastic they would be amusing, were they not tragic.

If the public is sufficiently interested to pass along and embellish these grotesque stories, will they not be equally interested to know the truth?

When the writing of this biography was first attempted, an effort was made to give the life of Edgar Saltus without using the uninteresting "I" and "me... Continue reading book >>

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