Philip Stewart Robinson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Philip Stewart Robinson (13 October 1847 – 9 December 1902) most often just known as Phil Robinson was an Indian born British naturalist, journalist and popular author who popularized the genre of humorous Anglo-Indian literature. Phil was a brother of E. Kay Robinson who was famous for nurturing Rudyard Kipling and founding the British Naturalists' Association. It has been claimed that his style of writing influenced authors like Edward Hamilton Aitken (Eha).[1][2]

Phil was born at Chunar in India and was one of six children of Julian Robinson, an army chaplain and editor of the newspaper Pioneer. His mother was Harriet Woodcocke, also from a family of clergymen. Phil was educated at Marlborough College and after graduating in 1865, worked as a librarian at Cardiff. In 1869 he returned to India to assist his father at the Pioneer. He edited several other publications and in 1873 he joined Allahabad College as a professor of literature. Robinson was also appointed a Supreme Governor of Censor to the vernacular press in India. Retiring in 1877 he returned to England to work for the Daily Telegraph, serving as a reporter during the second Afghan campaign and the Zulu war. He was dismissed from the Sunday Times in May 1891 after he published a piece on the Prince of Wales' finances.[3] He also worked with the Daily Chronicle and then the Pall Mall Gazette.[2] He was a member of the Savage Club and appointed fourteen of its members into The Sunday Times after becoming its editor.[4]

Robinson married Sarah Elizabeth King in December 1876 and they had a son and a daughter.[2] This marriage ended in a scandalous divorce that was covered extensively by the press.[5] His wife claimed cruelty, adultery and desertion and was granted a judicial separation.[6] He was declared bankrupt in 1889.[7]

He published several books on life in India that were written in a humorous tone. These works include:


  1. ^ Oaten, Edward Farley (1908). A Sketch of Anglo-Indian Literature (the Le Bas Prize essay for 1907). London: Kegan Paul Trench Trubner. pp. 121–125.
  2. ^ a b c Owen, W. B. (revised by Andrew Grout) (2004). "Robinson, Philip Stewart (1849–1902)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35799.
  3. ^ "A Newspaper Sensation. Phil Robinson and the Sunday Times. A Prince's Finances". Evening Post. 19 May 1891. p. 2.
  4. ^ Hibbert, H.G. (1916). Fifty years of a Londoner's life. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company. pp. 177–179.
  5. ^ "Phil Robinson's Divorce. Mrs. Robinson conducts her own case. A strange story". Te Aroha News. 13 July 1889. p. 4.
  6. ^ "Phil Robinson's Divorce Case. Singular statements". Wanganui Herald. 12 July 1889. p. 2.
  7. ^ "Phil Robinson Bankrupt". Thames Star. 18 November 1889. p. 2.
  8. ^ Francaviglia, Richard (2006). ""Surely There is a Vein for Silver and a Place for Gold:" Mining and Religion in the Nineteenth Century Intermountain West". The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal. 26: 194–213. JSTOR 43200242.

External links[edit]