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February 29 , 2008

A Rock in the Baltic


This early work by Robert Barr was originally published in 1906 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introductory biography. The adventure-romance novel "A Rock in the Baltic,” portrays a young British naval lieutenant, aboard a cruiser on a visit to America. Robert Barr was born on 16th September 1849 in Glasgow, Scotland, but he and his parents emigrated to Upper Canada when he was just four years old. He attended Toronto Normal School to train as a teacher and this career path led him to become headmaster of the Central School of Windsor, Ontario. During his time as a headteacher he began to contribute short stories to the Detroit Free Press, a publication for whom he left the teaching profession to become a staff member in 1876. He wrote for them under the pseudonym “Luke Sharp”, a name he found amusing on a sign reading “Luke Sharpe, Undertaker” that he used to pass on his daily commute to work. He eventually rose to the position of news editor at the publication. In 1881 he left Canada for London to establish a weekly English edition of the Detroit Free Press. He remained in England to found The Idler, a monthly magazine he collaborated on with the popular humourist Jerome K. Jerome. Robert Barr died from heart disease on October 21, 1912, at his home in Woldingham, a small village to the south-east of London.
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