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Robert Bell

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Bell, Robert I R. Bell I, 1800 (or 1803?) -1867, journalist, misc. writer. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin. For many years editor of the Atlas, then of Monthly Chronicle (which he helped found), later of Home News. Contributed to Ainsworth's, Fraser's, Bentley's Misc., Once a Week; "Stranger Than Fiction" to Cornhill. Collaborated with Horne on A New Spirit of the Age, 1844. For Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopaedia, wrote A History of Russia and biographical material. Wrote life of George Canning; three comedies, two novels, a book of travel sketches. Brought out The Annotated Edition of the English Poets, 1854-57, his principal work. 

      According to Sala (Things I Have Seen, I, 93), Bell was "an intimate friend of Dickens's." He was present at the "christening" of The Haunted Man; he played a role in one of Dickens's presentations of Not So Bad As We Seem. As a member of the General Committee of the Royal Literary Fund, he was Dickens's chief opponent in the controversy concerning the management of the organization (Fielding, ed., Speeches of Charles Dickens). 
      Ley (Dickens Circle, p. 253) states that Bell was "a frequent contributor" to H.W. and A.Y.R. Bell's only connection with H.W., aside from ["The Overland Mail Bag" IV, 229-34. Nov. 29, 1851] , was his handing to the editorial office, for publication, a letter written to him by a friend in Australia ("Life in the Burra Mines," June 7, 1851). 

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1971. 

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography  

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