Author Information At the Circulating Library
Author: Gilbert Sheldon (1870–1931)
Alternate Name(s): James Colwall (pseudonym)
Biography: Gilbert Sheldon was born in 1870 in Handsworth, Staffordshire, the youngest child of the Rev. John Sheldon. In his second year, Sheldon was struck with infantile paralysis—he survived but was left physically handicapped. Unable to attend school or university, he nevertheless became well versed in the classics and history. At nineteen, inspired by a family trip to Wales, he wrote the novel The Coombsberrow Mystery (1890). He followed this novel with the highly sensational The Standishes of High Acre (1894), a novel involving hereditary madness, murder, and suicide. Despite his handicap, Sheldon traveled widely, often accompanied by one of his six sisters, to Italy, France, Corsica, Sweden, Algeria, Jamaica, and Australia. He also toured widely in the British Isles, by horse cart, yacht, and automobile. His later works include a historical novel Bubble Fortune: A Story of 1720 (1911), a collection of poems Arcades Ambo (1919), a travel book From Trackway to Turnpike (1928), and a history The Transition from Roman Britain to Christian England (1932). Shortly after he finished writing the latter work, he fell ill and died suddenly in 1931. He never married and lived most of his life with his sister who wrote a recollection of her brother published in his last work.
References: British Census (1881); Gilbert Sheldon, The Transition from Roman Britain to Christian England (Macmillan, 1932)