Robert Smythe Hichens  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Robert Hichens (Robert Smythe Hichens, 14 November 1864 – 20 July 1950) was an English journalist, novelist, music lyricist, short story writer, music critic and collaborated on successful plays. He is best remembered as a satirist of the "Naughty Nineties".

Tongues of Conscience (1900), a collection of five horror stories including "How Love Came to Professor Guildea" (this story is about a supernatural visitation and is thought by some to be Hichens' best fiction – it is frequently anthologised). "How Love Came to Professor Guildea" was not initially well-received, with Frederic Taber Cooper calling the story "a hideous bit of morbidity" and Edmund Wilson dismissing the story as "trash". Later reviews of the story were more positive; J. A. Cuddon called "How Love Came to Professor Guildea" "outstanding" and compared it with "The Horla" by Guy de Maupassant and "The Beckoning Fair One" by Oliver Onions.



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