Author: Sir Gilbert Edward Campbell

Author: Sir Gilbert Edward Campbell (1838–1896)

Biography: Sir Gilbert Edward Campbell was born on 29 April 1838 in Hampshire, the son of Sir John Nicholl Robert Campbell, 2nd baronet and Grace Elizabeth Bainbridge. His father was a major of cavalry in the East Indian Service. Campbell attended Harrow before joining the army where he served as an officer during the Sepoy Rebellion. In 1870, he succeeded his father as baronet and married Esther Selina Maynham. The couple had one child, Claude Robert Campbell. Shortly thereafter, husband and wife separated. Thereafter, his life descended into a life of crime and literary hackdom. Of the latter, he began contributing work to various periodicals such as Bow Bells and Judy's Annual, translating French detective fiction, writing sensation fiction, and editing Lambert's Monthly. Always struggling for money, Campbell initiated or furthered various frauds such as beginning the Carlist Committee to fund a Spanish civil war, attempting insurance fraud, lending his name to various shaky business schemes, and serving on the board of a fake literary society. The latter drew the attention of Henry Labouchère's newspaper Truth, prompted a criminal trial, and led to conviction in 1892. Campbell was released from prison in 1894 and went on to publish a collection Through an Indian Mirror (1894). He may have died in 1896 in London. But by 1899, he was presumed dead and his son assumed the title before dying himself in 1900. One of the more colorful characters of Victorian literary life.

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References: Burke; Alexis Easley, "The Man of Letters as Criminal," Victorian Review (2019)

Fiction Titles:

  1. Wild and Weird: or, Remarkable Stories of Russian Life.  1 vol.  London: Ward, Lock, 1889.
  2. From Shadow to Light.  1 vol.  London: Ward, Lock, 1889.
  3. Mysteries of the Unseen: or, Supernatural Stories of English Life.  1 vol.  London: Ward, Lock, 1889.
  4. Prince Goldenblade: A Rational Fairy Tale for Big and Little Folk.  1 vol.  London: Ward, Lock, 1889.
  5. Dark Stories from the Sunny South: or, Legends of the Mediterranean.  1 vol.  London: Ward, Lock, 1889.
  6. New Detective Stories.  1 vol.  London: Ward, Lock, 1891.
  7. The Vanishing Diamond: A Story of the Himalayas.  1 vol.  London: Ward, Lock, 1891.
  8. A Fair Freelance.  1 vol.  London: Routledge, 1891.

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