Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Robbins, Tod

Working name of US writer Clarence Aaron Robbins (1888-1949), long resident in Europe and the UK. Much of his work is nonsupernatural Horror, beginning with Mysterious Martin (1912; rev vt The Master of Murder 1933 UK), though a tinge of supernaturalism does adhere to this title through the mystery behind the eponymous author's Book, which seems to have the power to make those who read it into murderers. In The Unholy Three (1917; vt The Three Freaks 1934 UK) a macabre alliance is established among three Circus performers: a strongman, a midget and a ventriloquist. The book was filmed as The Unholy Three (1925) dir Tod Browning and starring Lon Chaney, who also starred in the 1930 sound remake; TR's closely connected short story, "Spurs" (1926), was also used by Browning for his famous Freaks (1932). TR's short fiction was assembled as Silent, White and Beautiful (coll 1920), Who Wants a Green Bottle? (coll 1926 UK), which shares some contents with the previous volume, and In the Shadow (coll of linked stories 1929). [JC]

other works: Close Their Eyes Tenderly (circa 1940 Monaco).

Clarence Aaron Robbins

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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.