The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

November 23, 2013

November 23, 1936

Robert Barnard, an English author, lived from November 23, 1936 to September 19, 2013. His friend, John Ryan, who wrote an obituary of Barnard, high lighted Barnard as a historian of the English detective novel. And Barnard himself wrote "remarkable mystery novels of great panache." We learn that Barnard's father wrote pulp fiction. The son went to Oxford and joined academe after. The author taught in Australia and Norway before making his own writing a full time career. "The final achievement in all his fields was winning the Diamond Dagger for Crime Writing, presented to him at the British Museum in 2003."

Barnard's first novel was The Death of an Old Goat, (1974). His other writing included
A Bronte Encyclopedia (2007) whose 20,000 entries reflect the efforts of his wife Louise Barnard also. Matters such a determining whether a creature is meant to be a cat or a dove are given due attention. Barnard wrote lots of novels and many of them include cats.

The text of the obituary is a bit odd, and I don't want to rely on it overmuch. We read for instance of Barnard: "[H]is own days were muted and rather sad, [including].. an inability to cope with burly students or with cheap red wine..." This could be a spiteful point. Hardly a concluding perspective on someone who wrote over 50 books. Robert Barnard recently died in Yorkshire.

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