William Magnay


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(1855–1917) who succeeded (1871) as 2nd Baronet, married (1879) Margaret Susannah Soulsby (d. 1950). Son of a Lord Mayor of London, he published twenty-six volumes of romantic fiction 1897–1918. These include Count Zarka (1903), a Ruritanian thriller in the manner of E. Phillips Oppenheim, in which Galabin, of the Australian secret service, is sent hiking in the Carpathian mountains to look for Prince Roel of Rapsberg, kept in an iron mask by the sinister Zarka. Other works include a number of run-of-the-mill thrillers: The Master Spirit (1906), in which Paul Gastineau, KC, MP, crippled and supposed dead, renews his career through the person of a young barrister and politician, Herriard (there is also an old murder mystery to unravel); The Mystery of the Unicorn (1907), in which Sir Francis Cardale of Gabriels may or may not be the man he says he is; The Red Stain (1908), which opens with the late arrival of the inscrutable Captain Grendon at a party at Standerton Court, and the non-arrival of Harry Vyne-Miller of Danes Abbey. A Poached Peerage (1909) is a farcical tale of exchanged identity. Lord Quorn, just home from Australia, meets a runaway criminal, Peckover, who is about to poison himself in despair, in the coffee-room of the Quorn Arms. Quorn drinks the drugged wine and Peckover appropriates the title, which is subsequently bought by a millionaire. Magnay only published fiction.

From The Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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