1782 – 1848
Who was William Mudford?
William Mudford, was a British writer, essayist, translator of literary works and journalist. He also wrote critical and philosophical essays and reviews. His 1829 novel The Five Nights of St. Albans: A Romance of the Sixteenth Century received a good review from John Gibson Lockhart, an achievement which was considered a rare distinction. Mudford also published short fictional stories which were featured in periodicals such as Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Fraser's Magazine, and Bentley's Miscellany. His short story The Iron Shroud, about an iron torture chamber which shrinks through mechanical action and eventually crushes the victim inside, was first published in August 1830 by Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, and later republished separately in 1839 and 1840 with the subtitle "Italian Revenge". Edgar Allan Poe is considered to have been influenced by The Iron Shroud when he wrote The Pit and the Pendulum having got his idea for the shrinking chamber from Mudford's story. Mudford was born in London, where his father made a living as a shopkeeper in Piccadilly. He was influenced by John Milton, Joseph Addison, Samuel Johnson, William Cowper, William Collins, Mark Akenside, Thomas Gray, and Oliver Goldsmith.
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