Thomas B. Costain

Thomas B. Costain

Thomas Costain was a Canadian journalist who, at the age of 57, became a best-selling author of historical novels. Born in Brantford, Ontario on May 8, 1885, he began his illustrious career as a reporter for the Brantford Expositor. Later he served as editor for the Guelph Daily Mercury between 1908 and 1910. On January 12, 1910, he married Ida Randolph Spragge in New York City, with whom he had two children. His daughter Molly Costain Haycraft would also become a writer of historical novels.

Beginning in 1914, he was a staff writer and editor for Toronto-based Maclean's Magazine. His success brought him to the attention of The Saturday Evening Post, where he was fiction editor for fourteen years. He also worked for Doubleday Books as an editor, and was the head of 20th Century Fox's bureau of literary development from 1934 to 1942. Costain became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1920.

He realized his lifetime dream when his first novel My Great Folly was published in 1942. It became a best-seller of over 132,000 copies, enabling Costain to retire so that he could spend the rest of his life writing. His work is an amalgam of history and fiction that relies heavily on real historic events. His most popular novel, The Black Rose, was a selection of the Literary Guild with a first printing of 650,000 copies; it sold over two million copies in its first year.

Costain was described as a tall, handsome man with a pink and white complexion, clear blue eyes, white hair, and a slight Canadian accent. He loved animals, and was incapable of killing even an insect. He also loved bridge, movies, and the theatre. It was while attending a performance of The Pirates of Penzance that he met his future wife, who was performing Ruth. Costain died in 1965 of a heat attack at his New York City home. He is buried in Brantford.

His books include:

  • For My Great Folly (1942)
  • Joshua: Leader of a United People—A Realistic Biography (1943) (with Rogers MacVeagh)
  • Ride With Me (1944)
  • The Black Rose (1945) (on Roger Bacon)
  • The Moneyman (1947)
  • High Towers (1949)
  • Son of a Hundred Kings (1950)
  • The Silver Chalice (1952) (Apostolic period)
  • The Tontine (1955)
  • Below the Salt (1957)
  • The Darkness And The Dawn (1959) (on Attila the Hun)
  • The Last Love (1963) (on Napolean)
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17 Items found
Below the Salt
by Thomas B. Costain
from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Black Rose
by Thomas B. Costain
from Doubleday & Company
for 8th-Adult
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Chord of Steel
by Thomas B. Costain
from Doubleday & Company
for 8th-Adult
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Darkness and the Dawn
by Thomas B. Costain
from Doubleday & Company
for 8th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
High Towers
by Thomas B. Costain
from Doubleday & Company
for 8th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$7.00 (2 in stock)
Mississippi Bubble
Landmark #52
by Thomas B. Costain
from Random House
for 5th-8th grade
in American Landmark Books (Location: VIN-LAN)
Moneyman
by Thomas B. Costain
from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
for 10th grade - Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Ride With Me
by Thomas B. Costain
1944 Edition from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
for 8th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Silver Chalice
by Thomas B. Costain
from Loyola Press
for 8th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Silver Chalice
by Thomas B. Costain
from Doubleday & Company
for 8th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Silver Chalice
by Thomas B. Costain
from Doubleday & Company
for 8th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Son of a Hundred Kings
by Thomas B. Costain
from Doubleday & Company
for 7th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Stories to Remember - Volume 1
by Thomas Costain & John Beecroft
from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
for 10th grade - Adult
in Short Stories (Location: LIT-ANTH)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Stories to Remember - Volume 2
by Thomas B. Costain & John Beecroft
from Doubleday & Company
for 7th-12th grade
in Short Story Anthologies for Kids (Location: FIC-ANTH)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Tontine - Volume I
by Thomas B. Costain
from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
for 8th-12th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
White and the Gold
by Thomas B. Costain
from Doubleday & Company
for 9th-Adult
in Canada (Location: HISREG-CAN)
$4.00 (2 in stock)
William the Conqueror
World Landmark #41
by Thomas B. Costain
from Random House
for 5th-9th grade
in World Landmark Books (Location: VIN-LAN)