Famous Horror Writers

Famous Writers: Robert William Chambers

The King in Yellow

Today I am writing to discuss Mr Robert William Chambers with you.

Robert William Chambers was a writer from America who is best known for writing The King in Yellow in 1895.

Robert was born in Brooklyn in New York, his father worked as a lawyer and it was through this work that he met Robert’s mother when she was just 12 years old. Robert’s father and his grandfather on his mother side formed a law firm together after the marriage.

Robert was well educated and was part of the Art Students League in his twenties. He also studied in Paris before returning to New York. He worked as an illustrator for some time selling to prestigious magazines.

His first book, ‘In the Quarter’ was written in 1887, his second ‘The King in Yellow’ was published in 1895. This collection was very well received by authors such as H. P Lovecraft. His next collection was ‘The Maker of Moons’ published in 1896, followed by ‘The Tree of Heaven’ in 1907. While these were well received, they did not match the reception Robert received for ‘The King in Yellow’.

He also wrote historical fiction with ‘The Red Republic’, ‘Lorraine, and ‘Ashes of Empire’ published in 1895, 1998 and 1901 respectively. He also wrote ‘Cardigan’ in 1901 before turning from historical fiction to Romantic fiction. The dude was a very prolific writer, from 1894 to 1933 he churned out over 80 titles, including seven children’s titles. Some being published posthumously.

In July 1898 Robert married his wife Elsa and they had a son the following year, also called Robert.

Robert, senior, died in December 1933.