Albert Kinross


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(1870–1929) was born in Hampstead, the son of a West India merchant; his mother was Danish. He went to boarding-school in Brighton and then to a day-school in London. Aged 16 he became a clerk, then briefly worked for his father before going to Basle aged 18. He spent the next four years working abroad, where his most successful job was one in Bavaria writing the rhymes inside Christmas cards for the English market; there he determined to become a writer. After his return to England he spent some years living in and near Cambridge before going to London with his first novel and became London correspondent of the Boston Evening Transcript (1896–8), existing with the help of an allowance from his father. Next he was associate editor of the Outlook (1898–1900) and drama critic of the Morning Post (1901–3) He was also art critic of Academy, a correspondent during the Russo-Japanese War and the Russian revolt of 1905–6. Then he managed to get a job writing serials for a Chicago magazine, and retired to the country for the next seven years to write fiction full-time and to play as much cricket as possible. He was a member of the Authors team which included Conan Doyle, Hornung, and Wodehouse. In the First World War he served in France, Salonika, Egypt, and Palestine, rose to the rank of captain, and started the Balkan News (1916) and the Palestine News (1918) for the troops. Afterwards he suffered from shell-shock. His fictional line was fluent romance: in An Opera and Lady Grasmere (1899) Merceron, a composer who is to save English music, chooses between Art and Life (first one, then the other) and finally gets both when beautiful Lady Grasmere says she wants to help him in his work. The Torch: A Novel of the Nineties (1923) is about setting up a new weekly, and contains humorous sketches of typical journalists of the period: it presumably draws on Kinross's experiences on the Outlook. He died suddenly of pneumonia, leaving unfinished an autobiography (1930), mostly about cricket.

From The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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