(? -? ) UK author active in the 1830s, all of whose work was published anonymously. The Gentleman in Black (1831) is a comedy whose hero makes a Pact with the Devil obliging him to double the amount of time he devotes to sin each year. The Invisible Gentleman (1833) was the first three-decker fantasy novel; its hero acquires the trick of making himself invisible (see Invisibility) from an enigmatic stranger, but his practical jokes soon generate a web of deceit which blights his life, transforming the "gift" into a Curse. James Forbes Dalton, sometimes differentiated from JD, was active in the same period, and "The Beauty Draught" (1840) is a moralistic fantasy in exactly the same vein as the novels described above; the two are probably the same writer. The Bentley's Miscellany contributor who signed himself "Dalton" was, however, the son of Richard Harris Barham. [BS]
other works: Chartley the Fatalist (1831); The Robber (1832); The Old Maid's Talisman and Other Strange Tales (coll 1834); The Rival Demons: A Poem (1836 chap).