Is this man


a) a major linguistic prankster


b) inept beyond the point of ineptitude?


He was A.R.Allinson.

From the list of books with which he was associated, and indeed his links with the distinguished Parisian merchant of porn Charles Carrington, Allinson specialised in Flagellation and Smut.

Can someone who translated Michelet so adequately, and was associated with books on Golf, be responsible for the multi-coloured nonsense evoked in the Fantomas books?

The French texts in the original range from the banal to the stimulating, and there is no clue that, buried within them, is such manic, freshly minted tosh as Allinson loads into the Stanley Paul editions. Alfred Allinson? Bless him, I suspect he was a gigantic and innovative talent. He finds ways of subverting the English language in a way that is both innocent and mesmeric (rather like the political language of John Major).

His other translated texts are perhaps a key to the problem.

• Antonio Gallonio,. Torture: Torments of the Christian Martyrs. translated and adapted by A. R. Allinson. London and Paris, Limited edition printed for the subscribers, 1903.

Satanism and Witchcraft by Jules Michelet (a classic of its kind, and with its own qualities of the Garish) also a translation of The Sorceress by Michelet

The War Diary of the Emperor Frederick III, 1870-1871 translated and edited by A.R. Allinson, London,Stanley Paul, 1927.

• An edition of Petronius' The Satyricon, 1930, Panurge Press, New York

Nell in Bridewell by Charles Carrington,translated from the German of W. Reinhard BY W. C. COSTELLO Ph. D. and A. R. ALLINSON MA, Paris 1900, a small work from a large master of erotica.

Passion and Criminality in France, by Louis Proal, Translated from the French by A.R. Allinson M.A. (Oxon.), Paris, Carrington1901 (French 1892).

•de Bourdeille, Pierre (Seigneur Abbe de Brentome). The Lives of Fair and Gallant Ladies.Translated by A.R.Allinson. "" New York:Liverwright Publishing Co. 1933.

• Baron d'Ambès, Intimate Memoirs of Napoleon III: Personal Reminiscences of the Man and the Emperor, edited and translated by A. R. Allinson ,London: Stanley Paul, 1912, p. 287.

• Arnaud MASSY Golf, translated by A.R.Allinson. New York 1922

• Derek Davis January 27th 2004 - New York press article on Michelet.
"Michelet is by no means your dry, studied historian. He takes passionate, explosive sides, flailing those he sees as guilty and exalting the innocent. Despite occasional sentimentalism and florid asides, he’s saved from petty partisanship by two sterling traits–his mastery of primary sources and a magnificent style (delightfully rendered by translator A.R. Allinson). This is a book you can read for the sheer flow of the words."