(1889-1956) UK short-story writer who published a vast amount of fiction in popular Magazines, including boys' magazines, for over 40 years, starting in 1905. AMB's total output has never been fully assessed, and more may be hidden under pseudonyms other than the known Frank Lelland and Ex-Private X. He wrote in all genres, but is remembered today for his Ghost Stories, some of which are among the most effective ever written. AMB's Ghosts, frequently menacing but not always Evil, often serve as Portents or warnings. With fecund originality, he frequently mixed his ghost stories with elements of Timeslip or switched the perspective to the ghost's, so as to allow alternate interpretations (see Perception). These tales have been collected as Some Ghost Stories (coll 1927), Someone in the Room (coll 1931) as by Ex-Private X, and the posthumous Between the Minute and the Hour (coll 1967). Jack Adrian (1945- ) has since assembled further collections from old magazines: Warning Whispers (coll 1988; rev 1999), Intruders (coll 1995) and The Occult Files of Francis Chard (coll 1996).
AMB also produced a Black-Magic thriller, Seeker to the Dead (1942), which was almost certainly based on the occult practices of Aleister Crowley. Not published in book form but typical of AMB's lighter moments was a series of amusing romps, in the style of P G Wodehouse, set in the time of Arthur and featuring Sir Archibald; these stories are Satires on 1920s society. Titles were "The Knightly Adventures of Sir Archibald" (1922 Yellow Magazine), "The Further Adventures of Sir Archibald" (1923 Yellow Magazine) and "The Further Adventures of Sir Archibald and the Knights of the Round Table" (1925 Yellow Magazine). [MA]
Alfred McLelland Burrage