A recent article in the Guardian lists the ten bestselling writers in the United States from the year 1900 – a list it describes as ‘ghostly’ – and asks the pertinent question of what happened to these books, challenging its readers to have heard of them, let alone read them.1 But in the spring of 1900 the same newspaper, like so many others, was hotly debating the sensational success both in England and America of one of them, Mary Cholmondeley’s Red Pottage.2