Thomas Burke (29 November 1886 – 22 September 1945) was a British author. He was born in the Clapham Junction district of London. However, some autobiographical works he tried to give the impression that he hailed from the East End, if not from Limehouse itself.
His first successful publication was Limehouse Nights (1916), a collection of stories centred on life in the poverty-stricken Limehouse district of London. Many of Burke’s books feature the Chinese character Quong Lee as narrator. “The Lamplit Hour” an incidental poem from Limehouse Nights, was set to music in the United States by Arthur Penn in 1919. That same year, American film director D. W. Griffith used another tale from the collection, “The Chink and the Child” as the basis of his screenplay for the movie Broken Blossoms. Griffith based his film Dream Street (1921) on Burke’s “Gina of Chinatown” and “Song of the Lamp.”
“The book of the Inn” is a later work an engaging selection of short prose, verse and dramatic extracts on the subject of the English inn, from the earliest records to the arrival of the Railway Hotel, Authors include Chaucer, Bunyan, Fielding, George Elliot and Dickens.
FOR CHARLES DICKENS’ AMUSING DESCRIPTON OF AN EARLY SUCCESSOR TO THE INN – THE RAILWAY REFRESHMENT ROOM – SEE: