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Derleth, August, 1909-1971 | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Derleth, August, 1909-1971

Author and Publisher

Derleth, August, 1909-1971 | Wisconsin Historical Society
EnlargeAugust Derleth

August Derleth at His Desk

Author August Derleth surrounded by books at his desk. View the original source document: WHI 45660

Dictionary of Wisconsin History.
b. Sauk City, Wisconsin, 1909
d. Sauk City, Wisconsin, July, 1971

August Derleth was an author and publisher. He is often regarded as Wisconsin's most prolific author, with more than 100 books, 150 short stories and several thousand articles to his credit. He lectured at the University of Wisconsin in the 1930s. In 1939, he co-founded Arkham House, one of the nation's leading publishers of science fiction and fantasy. Derleth was also literary editor of the Capital Times newspaper in Madison from 1941 to 1960. Several of his most popular works are historical novels about Wisconsin figures. His book, Walden West is considered his most important book. One reviewer called it "a seamless series of anecdotes, meditations, character sketches, evocations of the landscape and celebrations of its human and animal life."

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