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Robert Smythe Hichens, 1864-1950, was an English novelist, journalist, short story writer, poet, dramatist, lyricist, music critic, screenwriter, and playwright. He wrote more than forty novels during the span of his career, the most noteworthy being The Green Carnation, for which he gained notoriety, The Garden of Allah, which was his most popular, and A Spirit in Prison, which won critical praise for its psychological insights and vivid pictures of local color.
Hichens was born in Speldhurst, Kent, the eldest son of a rector in Canterbury. Hichens attended Clifton College in Briston, the Royal College of Music, and the London School of Journalism. Hichens was gay and never married. Being a lifelong bachelor left him free to pursue his great love, traveling, and to produce such an astonishing number of books. In his later years, he settled outside of England, living primarily in Switzerland and along the French Riviera.