An extraordinarily prolific English writer of both literary-realist and mass-interest novels, short stories, pocket philosophy self-help manuals, plays, journal articles and book reviews,
His wealth and influence, as well as his painstaking realism, earned him the scorn of the modernist writers of the next generation.
was acclaimed as an artist in his own time and was also politically and culturally influential. He served as director of the Ministry of Propaganda under
in the first world war. He estimated his own output in 1930 as seventy or eighty books written, of which only a handful were well-known.