J P Marquand was looked down on by his aristocratic Sedgwick in-laws, who refused to take his writing seriously. One vacation when Marquand and his wife went to stay at her parental home, his brother-in-law, A C Sedgwick, was also staying there, also engaged in writing a book. The two writers occupied rooms on opposite sides of the main hall, spending most of the day at their desks. One afternoon Marquand’s mother-in-law came into his room with her son’s dog on a leash, and asked Marquand to take the animal out for its daily exercise, since A C could not do it himself. “He’s writing, you know,” she said in explanation.