(1849-1923) Scottish writer and artist, for part of his life resident in Australia. His travels in the Southern Hemisphere provided material for a run of adventure romances. Nine or so of his 46 novels contain fantasy elements. The "Jolly Roger"; a Story of Sea Heries and Pirates (1891) involves mass hypnotism and a hidden Pirate island; Valdmer the Viking; a Romance of the Eleventh Century by Sea and Land (1893) is an 11th-century Romance almost certainly inspired by the works of H Rider Haggard – a re-incarnated (> Reincarnation) Greek is able to revive his lost love from the frozen vastness of the North Pole; The Great Secret: a Tale of Tomorrow (1895) reveals an Island of the dead and the discovery of the Hesperides and also features Atlantis, while The Empire Builders: a Romance of Adventure and War in South Africa (1900) reveals another Haggard-like Lost Race in South Africa. These works are essentially imaginative potboilers. HN may be longer remembered for his short stories, of which the title story to The Haunted Station (coll 1894), a Ghost Story set in the Australian outback, is his best. "The Demon Spell" is notable for its Jack the Ripper theme. Those collected in Stories Weird and Wonderful (coll 1900) utilize more traditional themes, with "The Old Portrait", about a Vampire revived from a painting, being the most original. [MA]
other works (selective): Ashes: A Tale of Two Spheres (1890; vt Wasted Fires 1902); Paths of the Dead (1899), The Revenge of Valerie (1900), The Divers (1900), A Crafty Foe: Romance of the Sea (1901), A Colonial King (1905).