Saturday, May 16, 2009

H J S Anderton

H. J. S. Anderton was briefly a writer of crime stories in the 1930s, writing for the cheap paperback market. The bibliography below disguises the fact that most of the stories were short (64 or 80 pages), not more than novelette or novella length. Anderton barely makes a blip on any radar bar the comprehensive listings of Crime Fiction Bibliography, which, of course, means that he has to be investigated by the CFB Brains Trust.

Henry James Sebastian Anderton was born Birkenhead, 1871, the son of Henry Anderton, a theological student at St. Aidan’s College, Birkenhead, and his wife Ellen Cuerden Anderton (née Naylor) (c.1845-1922). Henry Anderton went on to become Curate of St. Lawrence in Haughton, Lancashire, then Vicar of Hopton Cangeford (1881), Garway (1883-84) and Ratlinghope (1886-91). He resigned in 1891 and went to live in Chester.

His son, Henry J. S. Anderton, attended a boarding school in Tattenhale, Cheshire, run by James Stephens and, in the 1891 census, had the profession of organist, at the time boarding with his father at a temperance hotel in Church Stretton, Shropshire. By 1901 he was “living on own means” in Formby, Lancashire, with his mother and younger brother, Augustus (1877- ). In 1911 the family was living together in West Derby, Lancashire. His death was registered in W. Cheshire in 2Q 1946, aged 75.

He was probably related to Henry Anderton (1809-1855), who wrote poems and became a leading advocate of temperance.

This is hardly the most comprehensive biography. I do get the feeling that his writing was probably low grade and typical of the kind of hackwork that appeared from Mellifont, although that doesn't automatically mean it won't be entertaining. They did come up with some glorious titles. I believe his first novel was a "yellow peril" crime yarn and some of the others sound as if they may be in the same style.

The League of the Yellow Skull. Dublin, Mellifont Press 211, 1932.
The Quest of the Crimson Idle. Dublin, Mellifont Press 217, 1932.
The Panther. Dublin, Mellifont Press 236, 1933.
Yellow Claws. Dublin, Mellifont Press 262, 1934.
The League of Death. Dublin, Mellifont Press 2103, 1934.
The Golden Idol. Dublin, Mellifont Press 2148, 1936.
The Dope King. Dublin, Mellifont Press 2179, 1937.
A King of Crime. London, Archer Croft, c.1939.
Shadow of Chu Kong. London, Popular Fiction [Everyday Novels 37], c.1940.

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