Alfred Richard Allinson
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Alfred Richard Allinson

Alfred Richard Allinson
BornDecember 1852[1]
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
DiedDecember 1929[2]
Hackney, London, England
Occupationauthor, translator
NationalityUnited Kingdom

Alfred Richard Allinson (1852-1929) was a British academic, author, and voluminous translator of continental European literature (mostly French, but occasionally Latin, German and Russian) into English. His translations were often published as by A. R. Allinson, Alfred R. Allinson or Alfred Allinson. He was described as "an elusive literary figure about whom next to nothing is known; the title-pages of his published works are really all we have to go on."[3]


Allinson was born in December 1852 in Newcastle upon Tyne.[1] He attended Lincoln College, Oxford, beginning in 1872, from which he took a Bachelor of Arts degree on 14 June 1877, and a Master of Arts degree in 1882.[4][5][6] After graduation he worked as an assistant school master and a librarian. He was also a meteorological hobbyist. He was living in Newcastle, Northumberland in 1901,[7] and in St Thomas, Exeter in Devon in 1911.[8] He died in December 1929 in the London Borough of Hackney.[2]


His early works as a translator included a number of works of French erotica for Paris-based speciality publisher Charles Carrington in the late 1880s and 1890s. Later he branched out into mainstream French literature, including works of various serious and popular authors. He participated with other translators in two ambitious early twentieth century projects to render the works of Anatole France and Alexandre Dumas into English. He also translated a number of children's books and historical works, and, late in his career, a number of volumes of the sensationalist Fantômas detective novels.

Allinson's sole work of note as an original author was The Days of the Directoire (1910), a historical and social portrait of France during the period of the French Revolution. His aim in this work was "to present a vivid account of the extraordinary years from 1795 to 1799, when the Five Directors ruled France from the Palace of the Luxembourg; to portray the chief actors of those stirring times; and to draw a picture of the social conditions prevailing in capital and country after the tremendous changes of the Revolution."[9]


Allinson's primary importance to literature is in helping to introduce French authors Alexandre Dumas and Anatole France to a broad English audience. Several of his translations of their works were the first into English, and a number of these remain the only English versions. In the case of Anatole France, his were the English versions authorised by the original writer.

Selected bibliography

Original works

Edited works

Translated works

Note: publication dates shown are those of the translation, not of publication in the original language.

Works of Alexandre Dumas

Tales of Strange Adventure (jacket)
  • Acté, a Tale of the Days of Nero (1905) - first English translation
  • The Adventures of Captain Pamphile and Delaporte's Little Presents (Le capitaine Pamphile) (1905)
  • Amaury (1904)
  • Bontekoe (1904)
  • Captain Marion (1906) - 1st English translation
  • Captain Pamphile (1904)
  • The Castle of Eppstein (Le château d'Eppstein) (1904) - first English translation
  • Catherine Blum, and Other Stories (1922?)
  • Cécile; or, The Wedding Gown (Cécile) (1904)
  • The Chevalier d'Harmental
  • Chicot the Jester (La dame de Monsoreau) (1921)
  • Conscience (Conscience l'innocent) (1902) - first English translation
  • The Convict's Son and Other Stories (Fils du forçat, M. Coumbes) (1922)
  • The Corsican Brothers (Frères corses) (1904)
  • Crop-Eared Jacquot and Other Stories (1903) - first English translation
  • The Dove (1906) - 1st English translation
  • The Duke of Savoy's Page (Page du duc de Savoie)
    • Pt. 3. The Tourney of the Rue Saint-Antoine
  • The Fencing Master; Life in Russia (Maître d'armes) (1921)
  • Fernande (1904) - 1st English translation
  • Georges, or, The Isle of France (Georges) (1904)
  • King Pepin (1906) - 1st English translation
  • Maître Adam (Maître Adam le Calabrais) (1906) - 1st English translation
  • Mille et un fantômes
    • Tales of Strange adventure (1906) - 1st English translation
    • Tales of Terror (1906) - 1st English translation
    • Tales of the Supernatural (1906) - 1st English translation
  • The Mouth of Hell (Le Trou de l'Envers) - 1st English translation
  • My Pets (Mes Bêtes) (1909) - 1st English translation
  • Nanon; or, Women's War (1904)
  • Olympia (Olympia de Clèves) - 1st English translation
  • Otho, the Archer (Orthion l'archer) (1904)
  • Pascal Bruno (1904)
  • Pauline (1904)
  • Père la Ruine (Le père la Ruine) (1905) - 1st English translation
  • The Prince of Thieves (1904)
  • Queen Margot (La Reine Margot)
    • Pt. 1: The Great Massacre (1921)
    • Pt. 2: Henri de Navarre (1921)
  • The Reminiscences of Antony ; and Marianna (1905)
  • The Regent's Daughter (Fille du régent)
    • Pt. 1. Hélène de Chaverny (1907)
    • Pt. 2. The Tragedy of Nantes (1908)
  • Robin Hood, the Outlaw (1904)
  • Samuel Gelb - 1st English translation
  • The Snowball (1903)
  • Sultanetta (1903)
  • The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires) (1903)
  • Twenty Years After (Vingt Ans Après) (1904)
  • The Two Dianas (Les deux Diane)
    • Pt. 1. The Taking of Calais (1909)
    • Pt. 2. The Chatalet (1921)
  • The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later (Le Vicomte de Bragelonne, ou Dix ans plus tard) (1904)
    • Pt. 1. Louise de la Vallière
    • Pt. 2. The Man in the Iron Mask
  • The Wild-Duck Shooter - 1st English translation
  • The Wolf-Leader (Le Meneur de loups) (1904)

Works of Anatole France

  • The Aspirations of Jean Servien (Les désirs de Jean Servien) (1912)
  • The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard (Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard)
  • The Garden of Epicurus (Le jardin d'Epicure) (1908)
  • The Gods Are Athirst (Les dieux ont soif) (1913)
  • The Human Tragedy (L'Humaine Tragedie) (1917) (previously pub. as part of The Well of Saint Clare)
  • Little Sea Dogs, and Other Tales of Childhood (co-translated with J. Lewis May) (1925)
  • Marguerite and Count Morin, Deputy; together with Alfred de Vigny and The Path of Glory (1927) (co-translated with J. Lewis May)
  • The Merrie Tales of Jacques Tournebroche, and Child Life in Town and Country (Les contes de Jacques Tournebroche and Les enfants) (1909)
  • The Path of Glory (1916)
  • The Well of Saint Clare (Le puits de Sainte Claire) (1903)

Works of Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain

Works of other authors


  1. ^ a b "Newcastle upon Tyne Vol.10b p. 3". Birth Certificate Index. FreeBMD. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Hackney Vol.1b p. 469". Death Certificate Index. FreeBMD. Retrieved 2011.
  3. ^ Boroughs, Rod, "Oscar Wilde's Translation of Petronius: The Story of a Literary Hoax", English Literature in Transition (ELT) 1880-1920, vol. 38, nr. 1 (1995) page 34.
  4. ^ Foster, Joseph, Alumni Oxonenses: The members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886 (1888, London) vol. 1, page 20.
  5. ^ "University Intelligence." in Daily News, London, 15 June 1877.
  6. ^ "University Intelligence. Oxford." in The Leeds Mercury, Leeds, England, Friday, 15 June 1877.
  7. ^ UK Census, 1901.
  8. ^ UK Census, 1911.
  9. ^ Allinson, Alfred. The Days of the Directoire, London, John Lane, 1910, p. vii.
  10. ^ In 1902, more than a year after Wilde's death, Carrington published this translation of the Satyricon with no translator identified on the title page but a loose slip of paper inserted in every copy that the translation was "done direct from the original Latin by 'Sebastian Melmoth' (Oscar Wilde)" - using Wilde's well-known pen-name and then providing his name. A copy, without the attribution to Wilde, is at:;view=1up;seq=13 . Experts on Petronius have doubted the attribution and, when challenged, Carrington could not produce any part of the manuscript. Experts on Wilde are more emphatic that Wilde did not write it, as the English falls far below Wilde's standards, the work was unknown to those who were close to Wilde and was especially unlikely to have been done in his last years in Paris, and the family and literary executor of Oscar Wilde demanded that Carrington cease attributing the book to him; at this point (ca. 1909) Carrington issued a grudging retraction that it had "been attributed quite erroneously to the pen of Oscar Wilde". The underlying text is very inferior, e.g. it incorporates the passages forged by Nodot. The bibliography is also disappointing, and the introduction errs in assigning the 1736 translation by John Addison to the better-known Joseph Addison who died in 1719. In 1930, ten years after Carrington's death, the Panurge Press, in New York, republished this translation, with its introduction (but not its bibliography, forward, or footnotes) with Alfred R. Allinson identified as the translator and author of the introduction. The translation itself hints that the translator was working from French renderings of Satyricon, more than from the original Latin. Boroughs, Rod, "Oscar Wilde's Translation of Petronius: The Story of a Literary Hoax", English Literature in Transition (ELT) 1880-1920, vol. 38, nr. 1 (1995) pages 9-49. Gaselee, Stephen, "The Bibliography of Petronius", Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, vol. 10 (1908) page 202.

External links

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