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.

February 24, 2017

February 24, 1848

Charles Grant Blairfindie Allen (February 24, 1848 to October 25, 1899) was a writer who grew up near a Canadian wilderness, but after receiving a scholarship to Oxford University he never returned to Canada. He was inspired by the idea of evolution and his fiction and essays reflect this very Victorian excitement.

His books were read. William James referred to Allen's The Evolution of the Idea of God (1897). Chesterton said of the same book that "it would be much more interesting if God wrote a book on the evolution of the idea of Grant Allen." Not only was Grant Allen read, but his income from the sale of his books allowed his family to winter in the south of France.

There are some biographical details here. Including:

In 1895, Allen's scandalous book titled
The Woman Who Did (1895) contained startling views on marriage and kindred, which promptly became a bestseller.The British Barbarians (1889) is a bold social commentary. An African Millionaire(1897) is a set of 12 humorous light fiction stories portraying the con man as hero and is a strong contender for pioneering the crime writing genre.

Grant has a graceful way of analyzing class distinctions in his work. 
Miss Cayley's Adventures (1899) is a work of fiction and we quote a brief section on royal assumptions, in the context of Indian tiger hunting.

He drew himself up and opened his palms with a twinkling of pendant emeralds 'I am royal' he answered with naive dignity and the tiger is a royal beast. Kings know the ways of kings If a king kills what is kingly, it owes him no grudge for it. But if a common man or a low caste man were to kill a tiger-- who can say what might happen.
With Allen's death, he left an unfinished manuscript. His good friend, Conan Doyle finished the writing of it and it was published posthumously.

No comments: