Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Middleton, Richard

(1882-1911) UK poet and writer who claimed descent from Richard Harris Barham. Although his work met with much critical acclaim he was financially insecure, and committed suicide when on the verge of potential greatness. A sensitive man, he poured his emotions into his poetry and essays. Most of his short stories are mood sketches. Some are Ghost Stories, best-known being the humorous "The Ghost Ship" (1912 Century), but better still are his Dream fantasies, where people escape from the horrors of the present into a personal Secret Garden. The best are "The Bird in the Garden" (ot "The Boy in the Garden" 1911 The Academy) and "Children of the Moon". "On the Brighton Road", superficially humorous, is in fact a more tragic story of a tramp who is perpetually reincarnated (see Reincarnation). These stories were collected as The Ghost Ship and Other Stories (coll 1912 intro Arthur Machen). RM left behind many unpublished and uncollected stories; posthumous collections of prose and poetry are The Day Before Yesterday (coll 1913) and The Pantomime Man (coll 1933) ed John Gawsworth, who championed RM's work and included other material in his own anthologies, in particular New Tales of Horror (anth 1934). [MA]

Richard Barham Middleton


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.