Harold Edward Bindloss

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Harold Edward Bindloss
Portrait of Harold Edward Bindloss
Bindloss circa 1909
Born(1866-04-06)6 April 1866
Died30 December 1945(1945-12-30) (aged 79)
Carlisle, Cumbria, England
NationalityEnglish
OccupationAuthor
Years active1898–1945
Known forNovels of life in Canada and adventure in West Africa

Harold Edward Bindloss (6 April 1866 – 30 December 1945) was an English novelist who wrote many adventure novels set in western Canada[note 1] and some West Africa and England. His writing was strongly based on his own experience, whether as a seaman, a dock worker, a farmer or a planter.

Biography[edit]

Bindloss was born in on 6 April 1866 in Wavertree, Liverpool, England.[2] the eldest son of Edward Williams Bindloss (born c. 1838), an iron merchant with six men in his employ at the time of the 1881 census. Bindloss had three sisters and four brothers. He spent several years at sea and in various colonies, especially in Africa, before returning to England in 1896,[3] his health broken by malaria.[4] Bindloss was absent from the family home in 1881, but the 1891 census found him living at home and serving as an iron-merchant's clerk, presumably for his father.

He apparently began work as a clerk in a shipping office but this did not suit his adventurous spirit, and he was at various times a farmer in Canada, a sailor, a dock worker and a planter.[4] He returned to England in 1896, presumably from West Africa, as he returned sick of malaria. Given that he spent more than a decade at sea and in the colonies[5], it seems likely that his experience abroad was in two parts, first as a youth, and than as a young man, after 1891.

Map of the West Africa in 1898 from In the Niger Country by Bindloss

After returning home in 1896 he began working as a journalist, and then wrote two non-fiction books based on his travels, the first, In the Niger Country (1898, Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh)[note 2] about West Africa, and the second, A Wide Dominion (1899, T. Fisher Unwin, London) about Canada. His first novel was Ainslie's Ju-Ju, set in West Africa which Truth described as "a book that has the double interest and excitement of a story and of a genuine record of travel and adventure mixed together judiciously."[7] This was the first of nearly one hundred novels by Bindloss. The next A Sower of Wheat (1901, Chatto and Windus, London) was set in Canada. This set the pattern for Bindloss, as most of his novels were set in Canada or West Africa. The Guardian refers to him as having two strings to his bow, stories set in Canada or West Africa, with the Canadian stories being remarkably superior.[8]

Bindloss married Mary Simpson Hossack (11 Mar 1869[2] – 2 November 1945[9]) the youngest daughter of Captain Joseph Hossack,[10] a marine surveyor, at St James Church in West Derby, Lancaster, on 12 June 1899.[11] The couple appear not to have had any children as the 1911 census records them as not having had any after twelve years of marriage.

Bindloss was a prolific author. The most common obituary estimate is that he wrote over 40 novels.[4][12] ABC Bookworld lists 62 books by Bindloss.[13] Kemp states that he wrote two to three books a year in the early 1900s.[5][note 3] The Belfast Newsletter states that he published 67 books.[3] However, Jisc Library Hub Discover[note 4] lists 89 books by Bindloss, the first two being non-fiction and the rest novels.[note 5]

He is remembered in the name of the town Bindloss, Alberta, Canada, established by the Canadian Pacific Railroad in 1914.[16]

Bindloss died on 30 December 1945 at Chertsey Hill Nursing Home in Carlisle, England. He had been living at Vallum, Burgh-by-Sands in Cumbria. His estate was valued at £24,774 0s. 9d.[17] His wife had died at home on 2 November 1945, and he was granted probate, as her executor just a fortnight before he died.[17][9]

Works[edit]

Books by Bindloss listed in the Jisc Library Hub Discover database
Ser Year Title Publisher Pages Title in US and Canada Notes
1 1898 In the Niger Country Edinburgh: Blackwood & Sons x, 338 p. 1 fold-out map, 23 cm. [note 6]
2 1899 A Wide Dominion London: T. Fisher Unwin 239 p., (8º) [note 7]
3 1900 Ainslie's Ju-Ju. A Romance of the Hinterland London: Chatto & Windus vi. 274 p., (8º) [note 8]
4 1901 A Sower of Wheat London: Chatto & Windus vi. 373 p., (8º) Lorimer of the Northwest [note 9]
5 1902 The Concession-Hunters London: Chatto & Windus 316p., (8º) [note 10]
6 1902 Sunshine and Snow London: S.W. Partridge & Co 128, 24 p. : 8 ill., (8º)
7 1903 His Master Purpose London: John Long 316 p., (8º) Thurston of Orchard Valley [note 11]
8 1903 The Mistress of Bonaventure London: Chatto & Windus vi. 408 p., (8º)
9 1904 Daventry's Daughter London: Chatto & Windus vi. 364 p., (8º)
10 1904 The League of the Leopard London: John Long 324 p., (8º)
11 1904 True Grit. The Adventures of Two Lads in Western Africa London: S. W. Partridge & Co 330 p., (8º)
12 1905 Alton of Somasco London: John Long 375 p., (8º) [note 12]
13 1905 The Impostor London: F. V. White & Co vi. 311 p., (8º) Winston of the Prairie [note 13]
14 1905 In the Misty Seas : a Story of the Sealers of Behring Strait London: S. W. Partridge and Co 330, 32 p., 6 ill., (8º)
15 1906 Beneath Her Station London: F. V. White & Co vi. 310 p., (8º)
16 1906 The Cattle-Baron's Daughter London: John Long 316 p., (8º)
17 1906 A Damaged Reputation London: F. V. White & Co vi, 312 p., (8º)
18 1907 Delilah of the Snows London: John Long 346 p., (8º)
19 1907 The Dust of Conflict London: John Long 353 p., (8º)
20 1907 His Lady's Pleasure London: F. V. White & Co vi. 306 p., (8º) For Jacinta [note 14]
21 1908 By Right of Purchase London: John Long 346 p., (8º)
22 1908 The Liberationist London: Ward, Lock & Co 351 p., (8º) Long Odds [note 15]
23 1908 Thrice Armed London: John Long 334 p., (8º)
24 1909 The Greater Power London: John Long 347 p., fs., (8º)
25 1910 Alison's Adventure London: John Long 335 p., (8º) A Prairie Courtship
26 1910 The Gold Trail London: John Long 347 p., (8º)
27 1910 Hawtrey's Deputy London: Ward, Lock & Co 352 p., (8º) Masters of the Wheat-lands
28 1910 The Opium Smugglers London: T. Fisher Unwin 318 p., (8º) The Boy Ranchers of Puget Sound [note 16]
29 1910 Rancher Carteret London: John Long 335 p., (8º)
30 1911 The Protector London: Ward, Lock & Co 320 p., (8º) Vane of the Timberlands
31 1912 By Right of Passage London: John Long 318 p. : 1 ill., (8º)
32 1912 The Pioneer London: Ward, Lock & Co 373 p., (8º) The Long Portage
33 1912 The Trustee London: Ward, Lock & Co. 328, 8 p. : col. fs., (8º) Ranching for Sylvia
34 1913 The Allinson Honour London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320, 16 p. : col. fs., (8º)
35 1913 The Greater Power London: John Long 318 p., (8º)
36 1913 The Wastrel London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p. : col. fs., (8º) Prescott of Sackatchewan
37 1914 Blake's Burden London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p. : col. fs., (8º) The Intriguers
38 1914 Harold's Burden London: Ward, Lock 320 p. : 1 col. ill., (8º)
39 1914 The Secret of the Reef London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320, 16 p. : col. fs., (8º)
40 1915 The Intruder London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320, 16 p. : col. fs., (8º) Harding of Allenwood
41 1915 A Risky Game London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320, 16 p., col. fs., (8º) The Coast of Adventure
42 1916 The Borderer London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p. : col. fs., (8º) Johnstone of the Border
43 1916 His One Talent London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p. : fs., (8º) Brandon of the Engineers
44 1917 Carmen's Messenger London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p. : fs., (8º)
45 1917 Crossthwaite of Banisdale London: Ward, Lock & Co. 255 p., 18 cm.
46 1917 Sadie's Conquest London: Ward, Lock & Co. vi, 7-303, 15, fs., (8º) The Girl from Keller's
47 1918 Agatha's Fortune London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p. : fs., (8º) The Lure of the North
48 1918 Askew's Victory London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p. : fs., (8º) The Bucaneer Farmer
49 1919 Dearham's Inheritance London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p. : fs., (8º) Partners of the Out-trail
50 1919 Wyndham's Partner London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p. : fs., (8º) Wyndham's Pal
51 1920 The Head of the House London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p., (8º) Lister's Great Adventure
52 1920 Stayward's Vindication London: Ward, Lock & Co. 315, [4] p., (8º) The Wilderness Mine
53 1921 The Man from the Wilds London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p., (8º)
54 1921 Musgrave's Luck London: Ward, Lock & Co. 313, [6] p., (8º) Kit Musgrave's Luck
55 1922 The Mountaineers London: Ward, Lock & Co. 310, 10 p., (8º) Northwest!
56 1923 The Keystone Block London: Ward, Lock & Co. 308, [12] p., (8º) The Bush-Rancher
57 1923 The Wilderness Patrol London: Ward, Lock & Co. 312, [8] p., (8º)
58 1924 Andrew's Folly London: Ward, Lock & Co. 310, [10] p., (8º) Green Timber
59 1924 The Boys of Wildcat Ranch London: Wells Gardner & Co 242 p., (8º)
60 1924 The Lute Player London: Ward, Lock & Co. 315, [4] p., (8º) Carson of Red River
61 1925 The Broken Net London: Ward, Lock & Co. 256 p., (8º) Prairie Gold
62 1925 A Debt of Honour London: Ward, Lock & Co. 313 p., (8º)
63 1926 Helen the Conqueror New York: A.L. Burt 314 p., (8º) [note 17]
64 1926 Sour Grapes London: Ward, Lock & Co. 304, [16] p., (8º) The Broken Trail
65 1927 The Dark Road London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p., (8º)
66 1927 Footsteps London: Ward, Lock & Co. 304, [16] p., (8º)
67 1928 The Firm Hand London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p., (8º) The Lone Hand
68 1928 Halford's Adventure London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p., (8º) Mystery Reef
69 1929 Frontiersmen London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p., (8º) The Frontiersman
70 1929 The Harder Way London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p., (8º)
71 1930 Harden's Escapade London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p., (8º) The Man at Willow Ranch
72 1930 A Moorside Feud London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p., (8º)
73 1931 Carter's Triumph London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p., (8º) The Border Trail
74 1931 The Lean Years London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p., (8º) The Prairie Patrol
75 1932 Right of Way London: Ward, Lock & Co. 312, [8] p., (8º)
76 1933 The Loser Pays London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p., (8º)
77 1933 The Stain of the Forge London: Ward, Lock & Co. 312, [8] p., (8º)
78 1934 Sonalta Gold London: Ward, Lock & Co. 314, [6] p., (8º) Valley Gold [note 18]
79 1935 The Lady of the Plain London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p., (8º)
80 1936 The Forbidden River London: Ward, Lock & Co. 314 p., (8º)
81 1937 Fellside Folk London: Ward, Lock & Co. 317, [2] p., (8º)
82 1938 Posted Missing London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p., (8º)
83 1939 Valeria Goes West London: Ward, Lock & Co. 319 p., (8º)
84 1940 What's Mine I Hold London: Ward, Lock & Co. 320 p., (8º)
85 1941 The Call of the Soil London: Ward, Lock & Co. 316, [4] p., (8º)
86 1942 The Secret of the Scree London: Ward, Lock & Co. 288 p., (8º)
87 1943 Caverhills London: Ward, Lock & Co. 254, [2] p., (8º)
88 1945 The Laird o' Borrans London: Ward, Lock & Co. 224 p., (8º)
89 1946 Richardsons of the Forge London: Ward, Lock & Co. 239 p., (8º)

Assessment[edit]

Bindloss was a popular author. Some of his works such as, Alton of Somasco, Alison's Adventure, Delilah of the Snows and Thrice Armed were reprinted numerous times on both sides of the Atlantic. One reviewer writes: "A new book by Harold Bindloss is always welcome. He tells a story well indeed, but one likes his books best perhaps for the environment which he knows so well how to sketch. He has written charming stories of the Canadian Northwest and one remembers with pleasure his novels Prescott of Saskatchewan and Winston of the Prairie."[22]

One strong feature of Bindlosss's work was that he wrote from his own experience, either of the sea, of Canada, or West Africa. The Buffalo Courier notes that "His descriptions are not those of the land-lubber who writes from a safe-point of vantage... He writes from a varied and wide experience of the charm the sea exerts over those, who once set forth upon its trackless waste."[23]

The Oakland Tribune also wrote: "It has become so that a new book by Bindloss is warmly greeted, for while it Is like greeting an old friend, in a way, there is certain to be new characters and new manner of bringing a quickening of the blood and a tendency to hold the breath. Bindloss, besides writing of the sort of men and women that most of the world knows earns blessings by not making then transcend the improbable either in thought or deed. More briefly, they are human beings with greater opportunity for excitement that falls to the lot of most."[24]

Harrison stated that "Bindloss was probably a more capable craftsman than any native Canadian writer of the period" and that "he had spent enough time in the West to make his settings authentic with real observed details."[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Harrison states that Bindloss set at least 19 of his novels on the Canadian prairies.[1]
  2. ^ The book was quite topical as the Hut Tax War was in progress in Sierra Leone in 1898, as were operations by the Niger Coast Protectorate in Nigeria.[6]
  3. ^ The Jisc Catalogue shows him as publishing seven books in 1910, five in 1908, and four in both 1907 and 1914.
  4. ^ The Jisc Library Hub Discover brings together the catalogues of 168 major UK and Irish libraries. Additional libraries are being added all the time, and the catalogue collates national, university, and research libraries.[14][15]
  5. ^ This total is subject to the risk of understatement as not all of his books are necessarily catalogued in the libraries covered by Jisc, and overstatement as the titles of his books varied by marketplace. ABC Bookworld identifies several books with two or more titles.[13], others have been identified by examining the copies of US versions on the Hathi Trust website.
  6. ^ Non-fiction: Describes a visit to West Africa.
  7. ^ A book about life in Canada, not a novel. The Morning Post wrote that while the book "may possibly be of some use to those who think of emigrating to Canada, though we doubt it."[18]
  8. ^ Set in West Africa. Republished in 1914 as No. 158 in Hodder & Stoughton's shilling library. A mixture of fiction and travel documentary.[7]
  9. ^ Published by A. L. Burt in New York in 1909.
  10. ^ Set in West Africa. Truth said if you skipped the love scenes and wholly ignored the heroine, the book was "a really thrilling adventure story of West Africa."[19]
  11. ^ Published by F. A. Stokes in New York in 1910. Published as a serial in the UK in 1906. An English engineer makes his fortune in Canada.[20][21]
  12. ^ Published by A. L. Burt in New York in 1905.
  13. ^ US Publication in 1907 by Grosset & Dunlap, New York
  14. ^ US Publication in 1908 by Grosset & Dunlap, New York
  15. ^ Set in the Rubber Trade in West Africa.
  16. ^ Published by F. A. Stokes in New York in 1910.
  17. ^ Published by Ward, Lock and Co, in London.
  18. ^ U. S. Publication in 1934 by F. A. Stokes, New York

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Harrison, Dick (1977). Unnamed Country: The Struggle for a Canadian Prairie Fiction. University of Alberta. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-88864-019-2. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b National Archives (29 September 1939). 1939 Register: Reference: RG 101/3073B: E.D. HCDQ. Kew: National Archives.
  3. ^ a b "Obituary: Mr. Harold Bindloss". Belfast News-Letter (Wednesday 02 January 1946): 4. 2 January 1946. Retrieved 22 September 2020 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ a b c "Death of Mr. Harold Bindloss". Coventry Evening Telegraph (Wednesday 02 January 1946): 4. 2 January 1946. Retrieved 22 September 2020 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ a b Kemp, Sandra; Mitchell, Charlotte; Trotter, David (1997). Edwardian Fiction: An Oxford Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 32–33. Retrieved 26 June 2020 – via The Internet Archive.
  6. ^ "Our Portraits". Graphic (Saturday 12 February 1898): 14. 12 February 1898. Retrieved 23 September 2020 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ a b "Letters on Books". Truth (Thursday 24 May 1900): 51. 24 May 1900. Retrieved 23 September 2020 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "New Novels". The Guardian (Wednesday 31 August 1904): 3. 31 August 1904. Retrieved 23 September 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ a b "Wills and Probates 1858-1996: Pages for Bindloss and the year of death 1945". Find a Will Service. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Marriages". Liverpool Mercury (Tuesday 13 June 1899): 8. 13 June 1899. Retrieved 23 September 2020 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ Liverpool Record Office. "1899 Marriage solemnized at St. James Church in the parish of West Derby in the county of Lancaster: Harold Edward Bindloss: Reference Number: 283 JWD/3/2". Liverpool, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1935. Provo, Utah: Ancestry.com.
  12. ^ New York Times, January 2, 1946
  13. ^ a b "Bindloss Harold". ABC Bookworld. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Libraries on Discover: Contributing libraries list". Library Hub Discover. 25 August 2020. Archived from the original on 18 January 2020. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  15. ^ "About Library Hub Discover". Library Hub Discover. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
  16. ^ Place-names of Alberta. Publication for the Geographic board by the Department of the interior. Ottawa: Geographic board of Canada. 1928. p. 20. Retrieved 22 September 2020 – via The Hathi Trust (access may be limited outside the United States).
  17. ^ a b "Wills and Probates 1858-1996: Pages for Bindloss and the year of death 1946". Find a Will Service. Archived from the original on 26 September 2020. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  18. ^ "A Book with a Moral". Morning Post (Thursday 01 March 1900): 2. 1 March 1900. Retrieved 23 September 2020 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  19. ^ "Letters on Books". Truth (Thursday 16 October 1902): 51. 16 October 1902. Retrieved 25 September 2020 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  20. ^ "The Moral of the New Serial Story". Birmingham Daily Gazette (Saturday 07 July 1906): 3. 7 July 1906. Retrieved 25 September 2020 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  21. ^ "Fiction". Aberdeen Press and Journal (Monday 07 September 1903): 3. 7 September 1903. Retrieved 25 September 2020 – via The British Newspaper Archive.
  22. ^ Oakland Tribune, February 28, 1915
  23. ^ "Reviews of Books". Buffalo Courier (Sunday 07 March 1915): 57. 7 March 1915. Retrieved 22 September 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ "Bindloss: Consistent Harold Bindloss Repeats Successes With ""The Buccaneer Farmer""". Oakland Tribune (Sunday 16 March 1919): 11. 16 March 1919. Retrieved 22 September 2020 – via Newspapers.com.

External links[edit]