1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Allen, Grant

ALLEN, GRANT [Charles Grant Blairfindie], (1848–1899), English author, son of a clergyman of Irish descent, was born at Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on the 24th of February 1848. He was educated partly in America and France, and in England at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and afterwards at Merton, Oxford. He was for a few years a schoolmaster in Jamaica, but then made his home in England, where he became prominent as a writer. He died at his house on Hindhead, Haslemere, on the 24th of October 1899. Grant Allen was a voluminous author. He was full of interesting scientific knowledge and had a gift for expression both in biological exposition and in fiction. His more purely scientific books (such as Physiological Aesthetics, 1877; The Evolutionist at Large, 1881; The Evolution of the Idea of God, 1897) contain much original matter, popularly expressed, and he was a cultured exponent of the evolutionary idea in various aspects of biology and anthropology. He first attracted attention as a novelist with a sensational story, The Devil’s Die (1888), though this was by no means his first attempt at fiction; and The Woman who Did (1895), which had a succès de scandale on account of its treatment of the sexual problem, had for the moment a number of cheap imitators. Other volumes flowed from his pen, and his name became well known in contemporary literature. But his reputation was essentially contemporary and characteristic of the vogue peculiar to the journalistic type.