Thursday, March 14, 2013

Born on this date English novelists Algernon Henry Blackwood (1869) & John Barrington Wain (1925)


Algernon Henry Blackwood was born on March 14, 1869 in Shooter’s Hill, Kent, England. He was an English short story writer and novelist, and was one of the most prolific writers of ghost stories in the history of the genre. He was also a journalist and a broadcasting narrator. His two best known stories are probably The Willows and The Wendigo. He would also often write stories for newspapers at short notice, with the result that he was unsure exactly how many short stories he had written and there is no sure total. Though Blackwood wrote a number of horror stories, his most typical work seeks less to frighten than to induce a sense of awe. Good examples are the novels The Centaur, which climaxes with a traveler’s sight of a herd of the mythical creatures; and Julius LeVallon and its sequel The Bright Messenger, which deal with reincarnation and the possibility of a new, mystical evolution in human consciousness. Blackwood died on December 10, 1951 at his home in Bishopsteighton, Kent after suffering several strokes.  


John Barrington Wain was born on March 14, 1925 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. He was an English poet, novelist, and critic, associated with the literary group "The Movement". For most of his life, Wain worked as a freelance journalist and author, writing and reviewing for newspapers and the radio. He wrote his first novel Hurry on Down in 1953, a comic story about an unsettled university graduate who rejects the standards of conventional society. Other notable novels include Strike the Father Dead (1962), and Young Shoulders (1982). Wain was often referred to as one of the "Angry Young Men,” a term applied to 1950s era radical writers who opposed the British establishment and conservative elements of society at that time. Nevertheless, it may be more accurate to associate Wain with "The Movement,” a group of post-war poets who desired to communicate rather than to experiment, and who often did so in a comic mode. He died on May 24, 1994.  

Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Literary Legends. The book can be purchased at Amazon through the following links: 


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