Missions to the United States have become quite the rage of late years; the passion for crossing the Atlantic seems to have seized a number of English literary men at about the same time, and probably for much the same reason. They had seen one or two very popular authors come back to their native land with pockets crammed with Yankee dollars, a result very desirable in itself; while the reports that reached England of the dinners, receptions, and galas given in honour of white elephants in the States filled these untravelled authors with delight. Added to all this, a sea voyage is said to have a fine effect in setting up constitutions enervated by a humdrum existence at home. Among these birds of passage one of the latest to wing his flight over the stormy ocean is Mr. Edmund Yates, an English novelist now on a tour, the object of which is to correct American misimpressions of the state of English institutions, society, and literature.
Mr. Yates is the son of the well-known actor, who was for a considerable period lessee of the old Adelphi Theatre. He was born in July 1831, and, like Mr. Anthony Trollope, has been connected with the Civil Service. Mr. Yates was for some time chief of the Missing-Letter Department in the Post Office. During his literary career he has been a constant contributor to periodical literature; and was for six years theatrical critic of the 'Daily News.' He was also at one time the editor of 'Temple Bar.' The articles signed 'The Flàneur,' in the late 'Morning Star,' were from his pen. His best novels are 'Broken to Harness,' 1864; 'Running the Gauntlet,' 1865; Black Sheep,' 1867; 'A Waiting Race,' and 'The Yellow Flag,' 1872.