Laurie, André

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym of Paschal Grousset (1844-1909), French politician and author. His first political novel, Le rève d'un irreconciliable ["Dream of a Diehard"] (1869) and several political works were published under his real name, but thereafter he used the Laurie pseudonym. While living as a communard exile in London, Laurie wrote the original version of the book which was later published – significantly modified – as Les Cinq Cent Millions de la Begum (1879; preferred trans as The Begum's Fortune) as by Jules Verne (see his entry for history of his translations in general). Laurie legally renounced title to the story, as he did with The Southern Star Mystery (1884), rewritten and published as by Verne. Both authors put their name to L'épave du Cynthia (1886; cut trans I O Evans as Salvage from the Cynthia 1958). It was a strange collaboration, Laurie being politically a long way to the left of Verne (whose crabwise political odyssey leftwards is exceedingly difficult to describe concisely), and in some ways a finer writer, though he distinctly lacked Verne's narrative energy.

Of Laurie's several solo sf novels, five have been translated into English. The best known is Les exilés de la Terre, Séléne Company Limited (1887; trans anon as The Conquest of the Moon: A Story of the Bayouda 1889), in which plans are made to drag the Moon from its orbit to land in the Sahara Desert, where its resources can be plundered; but the executors of the plan are drawn to the Moon instead. Laurie wrote of the discoveries of scientifically advanced societies in Le Secret du Mage (1890; trans anon as The Secret of the Magian, or The Mystery of Ecbatana 1891) and Atlantis (1895 Magasin d'Education et recreation; 1895; trans L A Smith as The Crystal City Under the Sea 1896; vt The Crystal City 1896); of Suspended Animation in Axel Ebersen: Le Gradue d'Upsala (1891; trans anon as Axel Ebersen, the Graduate of Upsala 1891-1894 Boy's Own Paper; 1892); and of a transatlantic tunnel in De New York à Brest en sept heures (1888; trans anon as New York to Brest in Seven Hours 1890). Le Géant de L'Azur ["The Giant of the Azur"] (1904) involves giant Airships; also untranslated is his most critically acclaimed work, Spiridon le muet ["Spiridon the Mute"] (1906), involving Telepathy and an Underground ant civilization, [JE/PN/JC]

see also: Boys' Papers; Near Future; Under the Sea.

Jean François Paschal Grousset

born Corte, Corsica, France: 7 April 1844

died Paris, France: 9 April 1909

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