Edgar Saltus  

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Edgar Evertson Saltus (October 8, 1855 – July 31, 1921) was an American writer known for his highly refined prose style. His works paralleled those by European decadent authors such as Huysmans and Oscar Wilde.


Edgar Saltus was born in New York City on October 8, 1855 to fairly wealthy parents of Dutch ancestry. After two semesters at Yale University, Saltus entered Columbia Law School in 1878, graduating with a law degree in 1880. He wrote two books of philosophy: The Philosophy of Disenchantment (1885) focused on pessimism and in particular the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Eduard Von Hartmann, while The Anatomy of Negation (1886) tried "to convey a tableau of anti-theism from Kapila to Leconte de Lisle".

His elder brother Francis Saltus Saltus was a minor poet. Both brothers are buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York.


Acclaimed by fellow writers in his day, Saltus fell into obscurity after his death. His novel The Paliser Case was adapted to film in 1920, and his novel Daughters of the Rich was filmed in 1923.

A biography by Marie Saltus, Edgar Saltus: The Man was published in 1925. Edgar Saltus, a critical study by Claire Sprague, appeared in 1970.


  1. [biography of] Balzac (1884)
  2. The Philosophy of Disenchantment (1885)
  3. The Anatomy of Negation (1886)
  4. Mr.Incoul's Misadventure (1887)
  5. The Truth About Tristrem Varick (1888)
  6. Eden: An Episode (1888)
  7. The Pace That Kills (1889)
  8. A Transient Guest and Other Episodes (1889)
  9. Love And Lore (1890)
  10. Mary Magdalene: A Chronicle (1891)
  11. Imperial Purple (1892)
  12. Madame Sapphira (1893)
  13. Enthralled (1894)
  14. Daughters of the Rich (1900)
  15. Purple and Fine Women (1903)
  16. The Pomps of Satan (1904)
  17. The Perfume of Eros: A Fifth Avenue Incident (1905)
  18. Vanity Square (1906)
  19. Historia Amoris A History of Love Ancient and Modern (1906)
  20. The Lords of the Ghostland (1907)
  21. The Monster (1912)
  22. Oscar Wilde, An Idler's Impressions (1917)
  23. The Gates Of Life (1919)
  24. The Paliser Case (1919)
  25. The Imperial Orgy: An Account of the Tsars From the First to the Last (1920)
  26. The Ghost Girl (1922)
  27. Uplands of Dream (A 1925 compilation of sixteen essays published in magazines between 1900 and 1914)
  28. When Dreams Come True: A Story of Emotional Life. ISBN 0-404-05535-4.

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