Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Barham, Richard Harris

(1788-1845) UK curate and writer, creator of the Ingoldsby LegendsThe Ingoldsby Legends, or Mirths and Marvels: First Series (coll 1840), Second Series (coll 1842), Third Series (coll 1847) – ostensibly narrated by Thomas Ingoldsby Esquire; earlier serial publication, from 1837, was in Bentley's Miscellany, except for the first story, "A Singular Passage in the Life of the Late Henry Harris", which appeared in Blackwood's Magazine in 1831 as by Jasper Ingoldsby. The stories and poems either retold local Kentish Legends or unabashedly created new ones. Often humorous, many involved supernatural manifestations, usually Ghosts, Witches or Devils. They were immensely popular, partly because they poked fun at the creaking horrors of Gothic fiction (see Gothic Fantasy) and thus established a basis for less tenebrous short Supernatural Fiction. RHB paved the way for J Sheridan Le Fanu and Charles Dickens. [MA]

Richard Harris Barham


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.