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Bertha Runkle (1879-1958) was an American novelist and playwright born in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. From a literary family, she wrote five novels. Her first and best known, The Helmet of Navarre, was made into a Broadway play. Bertha Runkle was only twenty-one years old when The Helmet of Navarre was first serialized in The Century Magazine. She had the story in her mind for two years or so and the actual writing took about four months. The title was taken from a passage in Thomas Babbington Macaulay's poem Ivry. Its first form was much shorter and it was a tale of political intrigue and martial adventure, without a heroine. But the editor of The Century Company insisted that a spoiled public would not be content without "the swish of the petticoats" and a dozen more chapters were called for, which she supplied. The magazine serialization had been so well received that 100,000 copies were printed for the first edition of the book. The book went on to become No. 3 on the list of bestselling novels in the United States for the entire year of 1901 as determined by the New York Times. The year of its release, she teamed up with playwright Lawrence Marston to adapt her story to the Broadway stage in a production by Charles Frohman.
Bertha Runkle (1879-1958) was a best-selling author of several historical romances.