Open main menu

A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Allen, Charles Grant

Allen, Charles Grant (1848–1899).—Scientific writer and novelist, b. in Canada, to which his f., a clergyman, had emigrated, and ed. at Birmingham and Oxford. For a time he was a professor in a college for negroes in Jamaica, but returning to England in 1876 devoted himself to literature. His first books were on scientific subjects, and include Physiological Æsthetics (1877) and Flowers and Their Pedigrees. After assisting Sir W.W. Hunter in his Gazeteer of India, he turned his attention to fiction, and between 1884 and 1899 produced about 30 novels, among which The Woman Who Did (1895), promulgating certain startling views on marriage and kindred questions, created some sensation. Another work, The Evolution of the Idea of God, propounding a theory of religion on heterodox lines, has the disadvantage of endeavouring to explain everything by one theory. His scientific works also included Colour Sense, Evolutionist at Large, Colin Clout's Calendar, and the Story of the Plants, and among his novels may be added Babylon, In all Shades, Philistia (1884), The Devil's Die, and The British Barbarians (1896).