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Knox, Ronald A

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1888-1957) UK priest, journalist and author; ordained an Anglican priest in 1912, he converted to Catholicism in 1917, becoming a Catholic priest in 1919. Among his many books are several well-regarded if somewhat dull detective novels, volumes of Parodies, a new translation of the Testaments, and some genre work. A Still More Sporting Adventure!: Humbly Dedicated to the Authoresses of "An Adventure" and Transcribed by the Misses Lavinia & Priscilla Daisyfield (1911 chap) with Charles Robert Leslie Fletcher (1857-1934), published anon, takes two women back in Time to spy on Queen Dido in Carthage, thus parodying An Adventure (1911) by Charlotte Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain, a bestselling nonfiction tale of the authors' experiences via supposed Timeslip in Versailles. Absolute and Abitofhell (1915 chap), as by R A K, is a fantasy poem about Noah's Ark; with further material, some of genre interest, it was republished in Essays in Satire (coll 1928), which also reprints Knox's semi-spoof assemblage of Sherlock Holmes minutiae, "Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes" (written 1911; 1912 Blue Book), and "A New Cure for Religion" (April 1924 Blackfriars), describing the glans Mahui which, on being medically inserted, charges the patient with true religion (almost certainly in a spoofing of Serge Voronoff's monkey gland), but when removed causes permanent secularization. Let Dons Delight: Being Variations on a Theme in an Oxford Common-Room (1939) is the fictional record of a symposium conducted over several centuries in Oxford by successive generations, members of whom persist in making wrong Predictions, all overheard in a kind of trance by a visitor to Oxford in 1938, with World War Two in the offing.

Memories of the Future: Being Memoirs of the Years 1915-1972 Written in the Year of Grace 1988 by Opal, Lady Porstock (1923), a Scientific Romance, Satirizes the type of evolutionary Utopia most closely identified with H G Wells: the year 1972 here marks the beginning of World War Two. The story is perhaps too cleverly told, and its imitation of the genteel memoir too exactly complacent in places. Other Eyes than Ours (1926), which features an apparatus for communicating with the dead, is in fact hoax sf, the device having been concocted to bring an obsessive to his senses; The Rich Young Man: A Fantasy (1928 chap) as Father Ronald Knox conveys a Christian parable. [JC]

Monsignor Ronald Arbuthnot Knox

born Knibworth, Leicestershire: 17 February 1888

died Mells, Somerset: 24 August 1957

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