Chambers, Robert W. (Robert William), 1865-1933

Alternative names
Birth 1865-05-26
Death 1933-12-16

Biographical notes:

Artist and illustrator; author of romance fiction and military articles and sketches.

From the description of An International Affair, undated. (University of Arizona). WorldCat record id: 30676537

Popular New York romance and historical fiction writer; most productive period between 1890 and 1930.

From the description of Papers, 1885-1933, 1890-1930 (bulk) (Colgate University). WorldCat record id: 31626943

Novelist and artist.

From the description of The Little Misery, ca. 1929. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 145435776

American author and artist.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : "Century Club", to Mr. Whipple, 1922 Mar. 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270622109

Chambers was an American novelist, short-story writer, and illustrator.

From the description of Compositions, ca. 1906-ca. 1916. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122505746

From the guide to the Compositions, ca. 1906-ca. 1916., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Robert W. Chambers was born in Brooklyn, and trained as an artist in Paris. While working as an illustrator for Life, Truth, and Vogue magazines, he found success as a writer, and abandoned art for literature. He became a prolific and exceedingly popular author of forgettable historical romances, but his lasting literary legacy remains the supernatural stories from his second book, The King in Yellow. These imaginative, haunting stories represent a keystone in the development of the Gothic short story, and influenced such writers as H.P. Lovecraft.

From the description of Robert W. Chambers correspondence, 1900-1901. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 63664606

Robert W. Chambers was a novelist and illustrator. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on May 26, 1865, he was the elder son of William and Caroline Boughton Chambers. He attended the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institue, where he showed an aptitude for painting. He then studied at the Students' Art League and while there was befriended by Charles Dana Gibson. Chambers traveled to Paris in 1886, studied art at Julian's Academy, and exhibited his work at the Salon in 1889. In 1893, he returned to the United States and set up a studio in New York City. Chambers soon became known for his illustrations in Life, Vogue, and other magazines. By 1894, he began writing stories in the evening. Finding that he could work better in the country, Chambers moved to Fulton County, N.Y., where his grandfather had established the family estate. In 1898, he married Elsa Vaughn Moller; theyraised one son. Chambers produced novels and short stories in rapid succession. By the time of his death, he was credited with 72 books, numerous short stories, serials, a drama, and two librettos for operas. Chambers also collected furniture, Chinese and Japanese antiques, and butterflies.

From the description of Sketchbook, [188?]. (Winterthur Library). WorldCat record id: 122568397

Robert William Chambers was born in Brooklyn, New York on May 26, 1865 to William and Caroline (Boughton) Chambers. Chambers attended the Art Students' League in New York, as well as the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julien in Paris, France. In 1898, he married Elsa Vaughn Moller, with whom he had one son.

Chambers is known as being an author and novelist, as well as an illustrator for publications such as for Life, Truth, and Vogue magazines. Perhaps his best known work is his 1895 collection, The King in Yellow . Chambers is remembered for his supernatural horror fiction and his best-selling romance novels of the early 20th century.

From the guide to the Robert W. Chambers Collection, 1903-1932, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)


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  • Illustrators--United States
  • Landscape in art
  • Soldiers in art
  • Manuscripts, American
  • Authors, American--Correspondence
  • Dwellings in art
  • Buildings in art
  • Caricatures and cartoons
  • Satire
  • Novelists, American
  • Art, Amateur
  • Guard duty--Fiction
  • American literature--20th century
  • Authors and publishers
  • American literature--19th century
  • Literature--American Fiction
  • Advertising--Books
  • Male authors, American--20th century--Correspondence


  • Illustrator
  • Novelists
  • Artists


  • Florida (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)