Ruthven Todd Biography
(1914–78), Over the Mountain, The Lost Traveller, Childermass, The Wild Goose Chase, Tracks in the Snow
British writer, born in Edinburgh, educated at Edinburgh College of Art. He is best remembered for his two allegorical and surreal quest novels, Over the Mountain (1939) and The Lost Traveller (1943), in which a strayed wanderer is sentenced by the minions of a faceless state to an impossible task, and is ultimately sacrificed. Both were indebted to books such as Wyndham Lewis's Childermass (1928) and Rex Warner's The Wild Goose Chase (1937), but introduced a monitory political note reflecting a period of uncertainty. The essays collected in Tracks in the Snow (1946) offered some interesting analysis of the allegorical writings of William Blake and Henry Fuseli. He has also written a series of science fiction novels for children including Space Cat (1952), and several detective novels under the name R. T. Campbell, such as Take Thee a Sharp Knife (1946).