At the Circulating Library Author Information: Allan Cunningham
Author: Allan Cunningham (1784–1842)
Biography: Allan Cunningham was born in 1784 in Blackwood, near Dalswinton, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, the son of a gardener. As a youth, he was apprenticed as a mason, but feeling dissatisfied he moved in 1810 to London to work as a journalist. In 1814 he became the clerk and manager of Sir Francis Chantrey's artistic workshop. Cunningham devoted his leisure time to literary pursuits, including a dramatic poem Sir Marmaduke Maxwell (1822), the collection Traditionary Tales of the Peasantry (1822), the biographies Lives of the Most Eminent British Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (6 volumes; 1829–33) (his most popular work), and other books. In addition, he wrote three novels: Paul Jones: A Romance (1826), Sir Michael Scott: A Romance (1828), and Lord Roldan: A Romance (1836). He died in 1842 shortly after completing a biography of his friend Sir David Wilkie.
References: Allibone; David Hogg, Life of Allan Cunningham (Dumfries: John Anderson, 1875); Times (31 October 1842)
- Lord Roldan: A Romance. 3 vol. London: John Macrone, 1836.