Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.
Pseudonym of UK lawyer, biologist, violin-maker, translator and author Edward Heron-Allen (1861-1943) whose first publication, Violin-Making as It Was and Is (1884), based on his own practical experience, remains in print. Also under his own name, he wrote The Princess Daphne (1885), a novel of psychic vampirism, and A Fatal Fiddle: The Commonplace Tragedy of a Snob (coll 1890), which includes a story centred on telepathy (see ESP). After a long period away from fiction – during which he served as an intelligence officer in World War One, being one of the oldest writers to have been directly affected by this apocalypse – he returned as Christopher Blayre with a series of short weird and sf stories, including "Aalita", in which an astronomer falls in love with a Venusian girl via photo-telephone, and "The Cosmic Dust", in which it is suggested that life originated from radium (see Elements). Along with a few written much earlier, they appeared in The Purple Sapphire and Other Posthumous Papers Selected from the Unofficial Records of the University of Cosmopoli (coll 1921; vt with four stories added The Strange Papers of Dr Blayre 1932); The Cheetah-Girl (1923 chap), a story dealing with Biology, appeared later, as the publisher of the previous volume refused to include it at the last moment, as did Some Women of the University: Being a Last Selection from the Strange Papers of Christopher Blayre (coll 1934), the latter two titles being privately published. All this variously released material has been assembled as The Collected Strange Papers of Christopher Blayre (coll 1998). "The Mirror That Remembered", also included in The Strange Papers of Dr Blayre, features an early instance of Slow Glass.
Similarities in style, content and sense of humour provoked speculation that Blayre was responsible for the weird fantasies appearing under the pseudonyms Dryasdust and M Y Halidom. In 2005 this was found to be incorrect: see the entry for Halidom. [JE/JC]
born London: 17 December 1861
died Selsey Bill, Sussex: 18 March 1943
under his own name
- The Princess Daphne (London: H J Drane, 1885) [hb/]
- A Fatal Fiddle: The Commonplace Tragedy of a Snob (Chicago, Illinois: Belford, Clarke and Co, 1890) [coll: hb/]
as Christopher Blayre
- The Purple Sapphire and Other Posthumous Papers Selected from the Unofficial Records of the University of Cosmopoli (London: Philip Allan, 1921) [coll: hb/]
- The Strange Papers of Dr Blayre (London: Philip Allan, 1932) [coll: exp vt of the above: hb/]
- The Cheetah-Girl (London: Printed as a Manuscript for Private Circulation, 1923) [story: chap: binding unknown/]
- Some Women of the University: Being a Last Selection from the Strange Papers of Christopher Blayre (London: privately printed by R Stockwell, 1934) [coll: hb/]
- The Collected Strange Papers of Christopher Blayre (London: Tartarus Press, 1998) [coll: hb/]
previous versions of this entry