Robert Machray


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(1857–1946) married (1886) Kathleen Beatrice Vankoughnet. Born at Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, he was educated at Cambridge University and became a Church of England clergyman. His uncle, Robert Machray (1831–1904), of whom he published (1909) a biography, was Archbishop of Rupert's Land, and Primate of Canada. Under his patronage, the younger Machray became a professor of ecclesiastical history at St John's College, Manitoba, and a canon of Winnipeg Cathedral. However, he resigned to become a writer. He was at one time on the committee of the Author's Club. He became war editor of the Daily Mail but had to resign in 1905 because of his health. In 1906, and again in 1911, 1912, and 1913, he applied for relief to the Royal Literary Fund, suffering from severe osteoarthritis. He published twelve novels between 1902 and 1915, specializing in rather simple-minded mysteries: The Mystery of Lincoln's Inn (1903) features a defaulting solicitor; The Private Detective (1906) is about the unmasking of an impostor: The Disappearance of Lady Diana (1909) occurs on the eve of her marriage to Lawrence Dundas, apparently in consequence of a letter from an old lover, Major Gartside. After the First World War and during the Second, he published a number of serious works on Balkan and East European issues.

From The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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