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Barr, Martin W

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1860-1938) US medical doctor and author; in the former capacity, as superintendent from 1893 to an unknown date of the Pennsylvania Training School for Feeble-Minded Children at Elwyn, he was a strong advocate of the sterilization of "mental defectives" in his care whom he deemed incurable. Of sf interest is his only novel, The King of Thomond: A Story of Yesterday (1907), in the frame story of which the superintendent of a Pennsylvania insane asylum presents the first-person narrator of one of his inmates, Una Constance Mabie O'Brien, who many years earlier had become enamoured of a doctor on Thomond Island. His attempts to create Android-simulacra of his dead wife and child (see Frankenstein Monster), who turn out to be wax models whose eloquence depends on his powers as a ventriloquist, make him a genuine Mad Scientist; later he instals machinery into these simulacra, so that they both move and talk. [JC]

Martin W Barr

born Wilmington, Delaware: 17 February 1860

died Middletown, Delaware: 25 December 1938



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