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Henry Shute Was Juvenile Delinquent Judge

Plupy Shute a Real Boy of Exeter /


Judge, farmer, author and musician, Henry A. Shute was a real boy at heart. In the spirit of Aldrich and Twain, he wrote 18 novels about bad boys that delighted readers across America. And everyone knew him as Plupy. Read our biography of a man almost forgotten by history.



The Mark Twain of Exeter

He wrote more than 20 books, all set in his beloved town of Exeter, New Hampshire. But his fame lasted only a lunchtime. Today few outside of rural Exeter recall the name of Judge Henry Augustus Shute (1856 – 1943), better known as "Plupy."

Henry A. Shute of Exeter, NH / SeacoastNH.comHenry "Plupy" Shute was an impressionable adolescent when the first rough and tumble "boy books" of American literature appeared soon after the Civil War. The revolutionary Story of a Bad Boy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1869) must have knocked Plupy’s socks off, if he wore any. Aldrich’s hero did awful things – lying, stealing, firing off explosions and setting things on fire -- and often escaped punishment. Mark Twain, a friend of Aldrich, took the genre to its highest form with tough kids Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Shute clearly followed in the footsteps of these highly original writers, tapping the tales of his Exeter boyhood into a seemingly endless flow of stories that appeared in books and magazines for 25 years. In an era before television, Shute’s boy adventures functioned like the Saturday morning cartoon version of the classic works by Aldrich and Twain.

Shute was popular in his day, but not immediately. He was 40 before he began submitting his boyhood stories to the Exeter Newsletter. His friend, newspaper editor John Templeton, encouraged these reminiscences, although the reading public was, at first, less than enthusiastic. Templeton published a very small edition of these collected stories in 1897 while Shute was judge of the Exeter Police Court, a position he held for 50 years.

CONTINUE Plupy Shute Biography  

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