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Alphonse James AlbertSymons (16 August 1900 – 26 August 1941) was an English writer and bibliographer. Symons was the son of Russian-born Jewish immigrants. He was a self-educated man who in his youth had been apprenticed as a furrier.
In 1922, he founded the First Edition Club to publish limited editions and to organize exhibitions of rare books and manuscripts. In 1924 he published a bibliography of first editions of the works of Yeats, and in 1930 he founded the Book Collector's Quarterly. He was an authority on writers and editions of the 1890s, and he published An Anthology of 'Nineties Verse in 1928.
Symons completed his first biography, Emin, Governor of Equatoria, in 1928. In 1933 he brought out a biography of the explorer H. M. Stanley. Neither created much of a stir. In 1934, however, Symons published his masterpiece, The Quest for Corvo, a biography of the English author and eccentric Frederick Rolfe (the self-styled Baron Corvo). Subtitled "An experiment in biography," The Quest for Corvo was a groundbreaking work: rather than being a simple narrative of a life, it describes an author's search for understanding of his subject, revealing aspects of Rolfe's life and character as they are revealed to the author. Though it appears entirely natural, the work is very skillfully orchestrated. The result is a vivid, prismatic portrait of Rolfe, those who knew him, and of Symons himself.
A dandy and an epicure, Symons devoted much of his energy to fine living. In 1933, he founded the Wine and Food Society with André Simon. In 1936, his marriage of twelve years to Gladys Weeks ended in divorce. In 1939 he fell ill, suffering from partial paralysis. He died in 1941 of a tumour of the brainstem.
Symons wrote with difficulty and sought help in the study of psychoanalysis. He left several unfinished works, including a long-contemplated biography of Oscar Wilde, at his death. His author brother Julian Symons (1912–1994) published his biography in 1950.
August William Derleth was an American writer and anthologist. Though best remembered as the first book publisher of the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, and for his own contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos and the Cosmic Horror genre, as well as his founding of the publisher Arkham House, Derleth was a leading American regional writer of his day, as well as prolific in several other genres, including historical fiction, poetry, detective fiction, science fiction, and biography.
John Boynton Priestley, OM was an English novelist, playwright, screenwriter, broadcaster and social commentator.
Ellery Queen is a crime fiction pseudonym created in 1929 by Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee, and later used by other authors under Dannay and Lee's supervision. Dannay and Lee's main fictional character, whom they also named Ellery Queen, is a mystery writer in New York City who helps his police inspector father solve baffling murders. Most of the more than thirty novels and several short story collections in which Ellery Queen appeared as a character were written by Dannay and Lee, and were among the most popular American mysteries published between 1929 and 1971. From 1961, Dannay and Lee also commissioned other authors to write crime thrillers under the Ellery Queen authorial name, but not featuring Ellery Queen as a character.
John Dickson Carr was an American author of detective stories, who also published using the pseudonyms Carter Dickson, Carr Dickson and Roger Fairbairn.
Frederick William Rolfe, better known as Baron Corvo, and also calling himself Frederick William Serafino Austin Lewis Mary Rolfe,, was an English writer, artist, photographer and eccentric.
Ruthven Campbell Todd was a Scottish poet, artist and novelist, best known as an editor of the works of William Blake, and expert on his printing techniques. During the 1940s he also wrote detective fiction under the pseudonym R. T. Campbell. and children's fiction during the 1950s.
Augustus Theodore (Theo) Bartholomew was a librarian at Cambridge University Library from 1900 until his death in 1933. He maintained friendships with a number of significant individuals, including Siegfried Sassoon, the novelist Forrest Reid and the uranian poet and librarian Charles Sayle. He was editor, with Henry Festing Jones, of the works of Samuel Butler and collected material for a biography of Frederick Rolfe.
Julian Gustave Symons was a British crime writer and poet. He also wrote social and military history, biography and studies of literature. He was born in Clapham, London and died in Walmer, Kent.
Cecil John Charles Street, MC, OBE, who was known to his colleagues, family and friends as John Street, began his military career as an artillery officer in the British army. During the course of World War I, he became a propagandist for MI7, in which role he held the rank of Major. After the armistice, he alternated between Dublin and London during the Irish War of Independence as Information Officer for Dublin Castle, working closely with Lionel Curtis. He later earned his living as a prolific writer of detective novels.
Hadrian the Seventh: A Romance is a 1904 novel by the English novelist Frederick Rolfe, who wrote under the pseudonym "Baron Corvo".
Finchingfield is a village in the Braintree district in north-west Essex, England, a primarily rural area. It is approximately 6 miles (10 km) from Thaxted, further from the larger towns of Saffron Walden and Braintree.
Arthur John Maundy Gregory, who later used the name Arthur John Peter Michael Maundy Gregory was a British theatre producer and political fixer who is best remembered for selling honours for Prime Minister David Lloyd George. He may also have been involved with the Zinoviev Letter, the disappearance of Victor Grayson, and the suspicious death of his platonic companion, Edith Rosse. Gregory said he was a spy for British intelligence.
Roland Camberton (1921–1965) was a British writer whose real name was Henry Cohen, though his family also knew him as Harry. He won the 1951 Somerset Maugham Award, given to authors under the age of 35, for his novel Scamp. The book had earlier received a merciless review in the Times Literary Supplement upon publication in late 1950:
The book is written from the standpoint of the "bum": that bearded and corduroyed figure who may be seen crouching over a half of bitter in the corner of a Bloomsbury "pub"; it is ostensibly concerned with the rise and fall of a short-lived literary review, but Mr. Camberton, who appears to be devoid of any narrative gift, makes this an excuse for dragging in disconnectedly and to little apparent purpose a series of thinly disguised local or literary celebrities.
Alfred George Stephens was an Australian writer and literary critic, notably for The Bulletin. He was appointed to that position by its owner, J. F. Archibald in 1894.
Rolfe Arnold Scott-James (1878–1959) was a British journalist, editor and literary critic. He is often cited as one of the first people to use the word "modernism" in his 1908 book Modernism and Romance, in which he writes, "there are characteristics of modern life in general which can only be summed up, as Mr. Thomas Hardy and others have summed them up, by the word, modernism".
Ernest George Hardy was a classicist and Principal of Jesus College, Oxford from 1921 to 1925.
The Vanguard Press (1926–1988) was a United States publishing house established with a $100,000 grant from the left wing American Fund for Public Service, better known as the Garland Fund. Throughout the 1920s, Vanguard Press issued an array of books on radical topics, including studies of the Soviet Union, socialist theory, and politically oriented fiction by a range of writers. The press ultimately received a total of $155,000 from the Garland Fund, which separated itself and turned the press over to its publisher, James Henle. Henle became sole owner in February 1932.
George Mackaness (1882–1968), born in Sydney, was a distinguished Australian educator, historian and bibliophile. He married Alice Symons in 1906. He trained as a teacher and spent many years as English master at Fort Street Public School, Sydney. His book "Inspirational Teaching" was widely acclaimed. He was in charge of the English Department at Sydney Technical College from 1924 to 1946. He was on the board of the Commonwealth Literary Fund, and a trustee of the Public Library of NSW. He was longtime member of the Royal Australian Historical Society, and president in 1948-9.
Fr Charles Sidney de Vere Beauclerk SJ was a Jesuit priest who attempted to turn the town of Holywell into the "Lourdes of Wales". He was also notable for his connection to the novelist Frederick Rolfe, and for his involvement in the Oxfordian theory of Shakespeare authorship.
Christopher Sclater Millard was the author of the first bibliography of the works of Oscar Wilde as well as several books on Wilde. Millard's bibliography was instrumental in enabling Wilde's literary executor, Robert Baldwin Ross to establish copyright on behalf of his estate.