Allen Upward (1863-1926). Courtesy the Modernist Journals Project.

Allen Upward (1863 - 12 November 1926) was an English poet, lawyer, politician and teacher. His work was included in the first anthology of Imagist poetry, Des Imagistes, edited by Ezra Pound and published in 1914.


Upward was born in Worcester, England. He was brought up as a member of the Plymouth Brethren, and trained as a lawyer at the Royal University of Dublin (now University College Dublin). While living in Dublin, he wrote a pamphlet in favour of Irish Home Rule.

Upward later worked for the British Foreign Office in Kenya as a judge. Back in Britain, he defended Havelock Wilson and other labour leaders, and ran for election as a Liberal/Labour candidate in the 1890's.

He published 2 collections of poetry, Songs of Ziklag (1888) and Scented Leaves from a Chinese Jar. He also published a translation, Sayings of Confucious, and a volume of autobiography, Some Personalities (1921).

Upward also wrote a number of now-forgotten novels: The Prince of Balkistan (1895), A Crown of Straw (1896), A Bride's Madness (1897), The Accused Princess (1900),[1] The International Spy: Being a secret history of the Russo-Japanese War" (1905), and Athelstane Ford.

His 1913 book The Divine Mystery is an anthropological study of Christian mythology.

In 1908, Upward self-published a book originally written in 1901, The New Word. This book is today known as the first citation of the word "Scientology", although it is used in the book in a disparaging way to describe "science elevated to unquestioning doctrine". (It is unknown whether L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, knew of this book.)

In 1917 the British Museum refused to take Upwards' manuscripts, "on the grounds that the writer was still alive," and Upward burned them [2].

He shot himself in November 1926. His suicide was rumored to have been inspired by George Bernard Shaw's Nobel Prize award (though the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction calls that story "probably a canard voiced by Pound.")[3]



  • Songs in Ziklag. London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1888.
  • A Day's Tragedy: A novel in rhyme. London: Chapman & Hall, 1897.
  • Scented Leaves from a Chinese Jar: A selection (edited by Michael Sheldon). Salterton, Devon, UK: Interim Press, 1987.



  • The Queen Against Owen. London: Chatto & Windus, 1894.
  • The Prince of Balkistan. London: Chatto & Windus, 1895; Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1895.
  • A Crown of Straw. London: Chatto & Windus, 1896; New York: Dodd, Mead, 1896.
  • One of God's Dilemmas. London: Heinemann, 1896.
  • "God Save the Queen! A tale of '37. London: Chatto & Windus, 1897.
  • A Bride's Madness. Bristol, UK: J.W. Arrowsmith, 1897.
  • Athelstane Ford. London: Pearson, 1899.
  • The Accused Princess. London: Pearson, 1900.
  • The Wonderful Career of Ebenezer Lobb. London: Hurst & Blackett, 1900.
  • The Wrong-Doer. Bristol, UK: J.W. Arrowsmith, 1900.
  • The Slaves of Society: A comedy in covers. New York: Harper, 1900.
  • The Ambassador's Adventure. London: Cassell, 1901.
  • On His Majesty's Service: The story of tariff reform. London: Primrose Press, 1903.
  • High Treason. London: Primrose Press, 1903.
  • The log of the "Folly": Narrative of a voyage in company with the Poet and the Bookmaker; containing the discovery of the Isle of Wight, and some account of the manners and customs of the natives; with other strange and improbable adventures. London: Digby, Long, 1903.
  • The Yellow Hand. London: Digby Long, 1904.
  • The Ordeal by Fire. London: Digby Long, 1904.
  • The Phantom Torpedo-Boats. New York: Transatlantic Press, 1904; London: Chatto & Windus, 1905.
  • The International Spy: Being the secret history of the Russo- Japanese war. London: Pearson, 1904; Chicago: M.A. Donohue, 1905; New York: G.W. Dillingham, 1905.
  • Lord Alistair's Rebellion: A chapter of contemporary history. London: A.C. Fifield, 1909;
  • The Discovery of the Dead. London: A.C. Fifield, 1910.
  • The Domino Club. London: Faber & Gwyer, 1926;
    • published in U.S. as The Club of Masks. New York: A.L. Burt, 1926; Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1926.
  • The House of Sin. London: Faber & Gwyer, 1926; New York: A.L. Burt, 1927; Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1927.
  • The Venetian Key. London: Faber & Gwyer, 1927; New York: A.L. Burt, 1927; Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1927.

Short fictionEdit



  • Goldenhair and Curlyhead (illustrated by Harold Copping). London: Hurst & Blackett, 1900.


  • Sayings of K'ung the Master (translated by James Legge). London: Orient Press, 1904; London: John Murray, 1905.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[4]

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  • Michael Sheldon, Introduction to Scented Leaves from a Chinese Jar: A selection. (Interim Press, 1987).
  • Robert Duncan, Introduction to The Divine Mystery. (Ross-Erikson, Santa Barbara, 1976).


  1. Duncan, p. xii
  2. Duncan, p. xi
  3. Upward, Allen, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, April 22, 2015. Web, May 13, 2015.
  4. Search results = au:Allen Upward, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, May 14, 2015.

External links Edit

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