Charles Grant Blairfindie Allen (February 24, 1848 - October 25, 1899) was a science writer, author and novelist, and a successful upholder of the theory of evolution. In his career, Allen wrote two novels under female pseudonyms. One of these was the short novel The Type-writer Girl, which he wrote under the name Olive Pratt Rayner. Another work, The Evolution of the Idea of God, propounding a theory of religion on heterodox lines, has the disadvantage of endeavoring to explain everything by one theory. This "ghost theory" was often seen as a derivative of Herbert Spencer's theory. However, it was well known and brief references to it can be found in a review by Marcel Mauss, Durkheim's nephew, in the articles of William James and in the works of Sigmund Freud. He was also a pioneer in science fiction, with the 1895 novel The British Barbarians. This book, published about the same time as H. G. Wells's The Time Machine, which includes a mention of Allen, also described time travel, although the plot is quite different. His short story The Thames Valley Catastrophe (published 1901 in The Strand Magazine) describes the destruction of London by a sudden and massive volcanic eruption. Many histories of detective fiction also mention Allen as an innovator. His gentleman rogue, the illustrious Colonel Clay, is seen as a forerunner to later characters. In fact, Allen's character bears strong resemblance to Maurice Leblanc's French works about Arsène Lupin, published many years later; and both Miss Cayley's Adventures and Hilda Wade feature early female detectives.
The British Barbariansby Grant Allen
"[...]whom one mainly desires to arouse to interest in profound problems by the aid of this vehicle. Especially should one arouse them to such living interest while they are still young and plastic, before they have crystallised and hardened into the conventional marionettes of polite society. Make them think while they are young: make them feel while they are sensitive: it is then alone that they will think and feel, if ever. I will venture, indeed, to enforce my views on this subject by a little apologue which I have somewhere read, or heard,-or invented.
A Revolutionist desired to issue an Election Address to the Working Men of Bermondsey. The Rector of the Parish saw it at the printer's, and came to him, much perturbed. "Why write it in English?" he asked. "It will only inflame the minds of the lower orders. Why not allow me to translate it into Ciceronian Latin? It would then be comprehensible to all University men; your logic would be duly and deliberately weighed: and the tanners and tinkers, who are so very impressionable, would not be poisoned by it." "My friend," said the Revolutionist, "it is the tanners and tinkers I want to get at. My object is, to win this election; University graduates will not help me to win it."
The business of the preacher is above all things to preach; but in order to preach, he must first reach his audience. The audience in this case consists in large[...]".
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