Hall, James Norman
James Norman Hall, 1887 - 1951
James Norman Hall was born at Colfax, Iowa. He attended public schools in Colfax, and entered Grinnell College, Iowa, graduating in 1910. From 1910 to 1914 he was a social worker in Boston, working for Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
At the outbreak of World War I, Hall joined the British Army. He served in the 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, taking part in the Battle of Loos. His war memoirs were published in 1916 under the title Kitcher's Mob and High Adventure. Hall re-enlisted in 1916 as a member of the Lafayette Flying Corps. During those years, he met Charles Nordhoff, a pilot serving in the same corps.
When Hall and Nordhoff received an advance from Harper's to write travel articles, they moved to Tahiti. In 1921 their travel book Faery Lands of the South Seas was published. Eventually they parted ways, with Hall continuing with travel books and Nordhoff publishing novels. In 1929 Nordhoff's and Hall's jointly written book about flying, Falcons of France was published. Hall suggested the team start to write Mutiny on the Bounty in 1932, and ended up a trilogy that included Men against the Sea in 1933 and Pitcairn's Island in 1934. Nordhoff and Hall published six more coauthored novels, although the last three were largely composed by Hall. Several of these books were filmed.
In his later years, Hall wrote children stories about Dr. Dogbody, a peg-legged old sailor, travel essays, narrative poems, and an collection of short stories. In 1950, Hall returned to the United States to accept an honorary doctorate from Grinnell University. He died the next year in Tahiti in 1951. His posthumously published memoirs, My Island Home, appeared in 1952.