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Barr, Robert

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Editor.

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(1849-1912) Scottish-born editor and author, in Canada 1854-1876, then in the US (working as a journalist) till 1881, afterwards mostly in England; some of his lighter fiction appeared as by Luke Sharp. He co-founded The Idler with William Dunkerley (better known as John Oxenham), co-editing it with Jerome K Jerome from February 1892 to July 1895, editing it solo August 1895 to November 1898; for further details see the magazine entry. In his early Disaster tale, "The Doom of London" (November 1892 Idler), London's population is exterminated by a poisonous fog (see Poison; Pollution); the story – which in all respects closely echoes William DeLisle Hay's The Doom of the Great City: Being the Narrative of a Survivor, Written A.D. 1942 (1880 chap) – is recounted half a century later by a narrator who survived due to the Invention (by someone else) of a portable oxygen-generating machine. The tale was reprinted in The Face & the Mask (coll 1894), which contains several other sf and fantasy stories, as does In a Steamer Chair and Other Shipboard Stories (coll 1892). Though he was best known for his detective novels, much of Barr's short fiction was fantasy or horror; relatively little was sf. He was the elder brother of James Barr. [JC/MA]

see also: Canada.

Robert Barr

born Glasgow, Scotland: 16 September 1849

died Woldingham, Surrey: 22 October 1912



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