Charlton, James 1939- (James Mervyn Charlton)

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Charlton, James 1939- (James Mervyn Charlton)


Born November 1, 1939, in New York, NY; son of James M. (a glassblower) and Mary L. Charlton; married wife, Patricia; children: Kevin, Anne, Tim. Education: Attended Western Michigan University, 1957-62, and Wayne State University, 1964. Hobbies and other interests: Slow-pitch softball.


Home—Huntington, NY. Office—Quick Fox, 33 West 66th St., New York, NY 10023. Agent—Elaine Markson Literary Agency, Inc., 44 Greenwich Ave., New York, NY 10011.


Worked as managing editor for Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden City, NY; Quick Fox, New York, NY, editor-in-chief, 1978—.


Coffee House Club, Editors Club (New York, NY), Players Club, New York Croquet Club.


(Editor, with Barbara Gilson) The Christmas Feast: A Delightful Treasury of Yuletide Stories and Poems for the Whole Family, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1976.

(With William Thompson) Croquet, Scribner (New York, NY), 1977.

(With Linda Lee) The Hand Book: Interpreting Handshakes, Gestures, Power Signals, and Sexual Signs, Prentice Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1980.

(Editor) The Writer's Quotation Book: A Literary Companion, Pushcart Press (New York, NY), 1980, 4th revised edition published as The Writer's Quotation Book, Faber and Faber (Boston, MA), 1997.

Charades, the Complete Guide to America's Favorite Party Game, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1983.

(Editor) The Executive's Quotation Book: A Corporate Companion, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1983, 2nd revised edition published as The Executive's Quotation Book, 1993.

Surface Chic, Avon (New York, NY), 1984.

(Compiler with Jason Shulman) The Family Book of Christmas Songs and Stories, Bonanza Books (New York, NY), 1984.

Bred Any Good Books Lately? A Collection of Puns, Shaggy Dogs, Spoonerisms, Feghoots, and Malappropriate Stories, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1986.

(With Lisbeth Mark) The Writer's Home Companion, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1987.

(With Mike Shatzkin) The Baseball Fan's Guide to Spring Training: 1989 Season, Addison-Wesley (Reading, MA), 1988.

(Editor, with S. Gross) Books, Books, Books: A Hilarious Collection of Literary Cartoons, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1988.

(With Maria Robbins) A Christmas Companion: Recipes, Traditions, and Customs from around the World, Perigee Books (New York, NY), 1989.

(With Mike Shatzkin) The Ballplayers: Baseball's Ultimate Biographical Reference, Arbor House (New York, NY), 1990.

(Editor, with S. Gross) Ho! Ho! Ho! A Stocking-Full of Christmas Cartoons, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.

(Editor) The Military Quotation Book: More than 600 of the Best Quotations about War, Courage, Combat, Victory, and Defeat, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1990, revised edition published as The Military Quotation Book: More than 1,200 of the Best Quotations about War, Leadership, Courage, Victory, and Defeat, 2002.

(Editor) The Baseball Chronology: The Complete History of the Most Important Events in the Game of Baseball, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1991.

(Editor, with S. Gross) Play Ball! An All-Star Lineup of Baseball Cartoons, HarperPerennial (New York, NY), 1991.

(Editor) Fighting Words: Writers Lambast Other Writers, Algonquin (Chapel Hill, NC), 1994.

(Editor) A Little Learning Is a Dangerous Thing, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor, with Barbara Binswanger) On the Night the Hogs Ate Willie: And Other Quotations on All Things Southern, Dutton (New York, NY), 1994.

(With Sally Cook) Hey Batta Batta Swing! The Wild Old Days of Baseball, illustrated by Ross McDonald, M.K. McElderry Books (New York, NY), 2007.


American writer James Charlton is the author or editor of a score of books on topics from Christmas to quotations and from croquet to baseball. His 2007 title, Hey Batta Batta Swing! The Wild Old Days of Baseball, written with Sally Cook, is, unlike much of his work, targeted at a juvenile audience. Vicky Smith, writing in Horn Book, noted of this work: "Baseball's days of yore receive a sunny treatment in this beguiling tribute to the national pastime." The authors provide a plethora of anecdotes and facts from the early days of baseball, observing among other things that initially there were no special uniforms for teams, that players' numbers originally came from their order in the team lineup, that pitchers in the 1890s delivered their strikes not from a mound, but from a box, and that players in those heydays of baseball were also known to cheat.

Smith found the book "chatty," and "peppered with baseball slang." Such slang, boldfaced for easier recognition, includes "Uncle Charlie" for a curveball, and the interesting "crank," denoting a fan. Marilyn Taniguchi, writing in School Library Journal, had similar praise for Hey Batta Batta Swing!, terming it a "light and breezy overview." Likewise, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented: "With a catchy, conversational style, the authors present a potpourri of anecdotes and facts that reveal the many ways baseball has changed over the years," while Booklist contributor GraceAnne A. DeCandido dubbed the same book "a lively, puckish history of baseball's earliest years."



Booklist, January 1, 2007, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Hey Batta Batta Swing! The Wild Old Days of Baseball, p. 84.

Horn Book, March 1, 2007, Vicky Smith, review of Hey Batta Batta Swing!, p. 213.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2007, review of Hey Batta Batta Swing!, p. 71.

Publishers Weekly, January 8, 2007, review of Hey Batta Batta Swing!, p. 50.

School Library Journal, March, 2007, Marilyn Taniguchi, review of Hey Batta Batta Swing!, p. 225.


Scripps Howard News Service Online, (October 11, 2007), review of Hey Batta Batta Swing!

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Charlton, James 1939- (James Mervyn Charlton)

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