Monday, 5 March 2007

Edward and Edith Heron-Allen Bookplate


Edward Heron-Allen FRS (1861–1943)

He was the fourth son of George Allen (1823–1911), a lawyer from London and Catherine Herring or Heron (b. 1830). He married 1stly, Marianna Lehamn, daughter of the artist Rudolf Lehmann.
In 1903 he married 2ndly, Edith Emily (1872–1943), daughter of William Brown Pepler MD.
The bookplate was thus made after 1903.~

A lawyer by profession, Edward Heron-Allen is one of those personalities difficult to define. A man of many talents and a vast range of interests, both in the arts and science, he dedicated much of his life to the study and writing on a wide variety of subjects – novels and short stories, chiromancy, the art of violin making, local history and archaeology, marine zoology (the chalk foraminifera), heraldry, bibliography, asparagus culture, the translation and study of Persian literature classics, and on oriental religions (Budhism and the Egyptian Nefer sign).
His literal prose translation of The Ruba'iyát of Omar Khayyám is still celebrated (see, http://members.iinet.net.au/~ploke/Omar/Khayyamnotes.html and http://members.iinet.net.au/~ploke/Omar/compare.html).

At Large Acres, the house he built at Selsey Bill, Sussex, he also built a library for his vast collection of books a part of which went, after his death, to the Natural History Museum and another to the Royal College of Music. The London Library also holds an important collection of books on Persian literature which belonged to Edward Heron-Allen.
The antiquarian bookseller Bernard Quaritch founded in 1878 a dining and literary society called the Ye Sette of Odd Volumes which Edward Heron-Allen joined in 1883, being known as the Necromancer.
During the Great War in which he took active part serving as an Army Officer at the War Office, he wrote a diary which was only recently published (Edward Heron-Allen's Journal of the Great War: From Sussex Shore to Flanders Fields, edited by Brian W. Harvey & Carol Fitzgerald, Phillimore, 2002).
He was also an enthusiast of the Boy Scout Movement founded by Lord Baden-Powell.

Sources:
The Heron-Allen Society has an interesting site with a short biography and bibliography at http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted_sites/heronallen/index.htm
Article by Brian W. Harvey & Carol Fitzgerald at
http://www.firstworldwar.bham.ac.uk/forgotten/heronallen.htm
http://www.royalsociety.org/page.asp?id=3160
Asparagus and the Art of Good Living: Remembering Edward Heron-Allen, F.R.S. (1861-1943) (The Nottingham Journal, 23 May 1938) at: http://www.iwfs.org/secretariat/Asparagus%20article.htm
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography gives an extensive biography.
See, also Edward Heron-Allen. 1861-1943, by R. A. Gregory, Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, Vol. 4, No. 12 (Nov., 1943), pp. 446-454

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