At the Circulating Library Author Information: Alfred Larder
Author: Alfred Larder (1861–1894)
Biography: A rather unfortunate author. Alfred Larder was born in 1861 in Louth, Lincolnshire, the son of farmer West Larder. His early life cannot be traced. By 1891, Larder was married with a daughter and living in Leeds where he was attempting to make his way in literature. His novel A Sinner's Sentence (1891) received unusually harsh reviews such as the one in the Academy: "probably, without any exception, the most hideously repellent story that has been published for some years." Needless to say, he failed to make his way by his pen and seems to have exhausted the money his wife brought to the marriage. In July 1894, his body was found shot on the dunes outside the seaside town of Mablethorpe and the coroner ruled his death a suicide while temporarily insane. According to the newspaper report, he had visited the town alone and commented on his poor fortune and lack of funds. He left a bitter suicide letter.
References: Academy (6 February 1892); British Census (1871, 1881, 1891); "Melancholy Suicide," Boston Guardian (21 July 1894); Neil R. Storey, A Grim Almanac of Lincolnshire (History Press, 2011)
- A Sinner's Sentence. 3 vol. London: Chatto and Windus, 1891.