This Week in History
“The Man Who Did”
For the week of Monday February 20, 2006
Born on February 24, 1848, near Kingston, Ontario, Grant Allen wrote many popular essays and novels that made a major contribution to the world of literature in the second half of the 19th century. He was an exceptionally versatile author, whose works ranged from biology, anthropology, botany, philosophy to history.
His books deal with many topics and are signed under four different pseudonyms. In his writings, he clearly expresses his opinions and often provokes readers with his ideas inspired by socialism, Darwinism and even feminism. Through his outrageous and radical statements, he courageously exposed taboos and questioned the established societal boundaries, in spite of the controversies this caused in a rather conservative era. Financial reasons forced him to conform to the mass market and write fiction. Nevertheless, he had a marked preference for science. His innovative ideas stood the test of time and are still relevant to contemporary discourse.
Before his death on October 25, 1899, in Haslemere, Surrey, England, Grant Allen had written more than 70 books in addition to contributing to many newspapers and magazines. A notable author, he was designated a person of national historic significance in 1938.
For further information, visit the following Web site dedicated to Grant Allen: http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/english/GA/GAHome.htm .
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