Galt, John

Tagged: Author

(1779-1839) Scottish developer, social critic and author, active in the latter capacity from around 1805; mostly in the UK and Canada from 1804 to 1834. Most of his fiction is nonfantastic, and set in his native Ayrshire along the north-west coast of Scotland; some of these tales, like The Spaewife: A Tale of the Scottish Chronicles (1823 3vols), contain some supernatural elements. "The Star of Destiny" (in The Autobiography of John Galt 1833 2vols) concerns an abjured Faustian pact. He is of some sf interest for his Atlantis series, including a drama, The Apostate; Or, Atlantis Destroyed: A Tragedy in Five Acts (1814 chap), in which Europeans invade a Utopian Island, inspired by a survivor of Atlantis, and corrupt its peoples, who resemble North American natives (see Imperialism); "The New Atlantis: An American Legend" (in Friendship's Offering, anth 1833) retells the tale in prose form. The two, along with material by at least one other author, were assembled as The Apostate (omni 2017). It does not seem likely that Ayn Rand consciously used this author's name for the protagonist of Atlas Shrugged (1957), unless as an attempted sarcasm, Galt himself not being a likely precursor of her line of thought. [JC]

John Galt

born Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland: 2 May 1779

died Greenock, Scotland: 11 April 1839

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