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Arnold, Edwin L

Entry updated 10 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

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(1857-1935) UK author, son of the poet and journalist Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904), a poet and popularizer of Buddhism (his book-length mystical poem The Light of Asia was popular during his lifetime) who is sometimes confused with his son. Arnold's own fantasies include two Reincarnation tales clearly influenced by his father (who introduced the first of these), The Wonderful Adventures of Phra the Phoenician (1890 3vols; vt Phra the Phoenician 1910) and Lepidus the Centurion: A Roman of Today (1901). His best-known novel is Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation (1905; vt Gulliver of Mars 1964) (see Gulliver), in which Jones tells the story of his brief disgruntlement with the US Navy, his trip by flying carpet to Mars, his rescue of a princess, his witnessing of the destruction of her domain, their adventures together, and his return to a trustful fiancée and promotion. With its emphasis on highly-coloured adventure, it may be the first genuine Planetary Romance. In the preface to the retitled 1965 edition, Richard A Lupoff claims this story as a source for Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom. The provenance is visible in hindsight, and Burroughs may have in fact read Arnold before 1912. [JC]

see also: History of SF.

Edwin Lester Linden Arnold

born Swanscombe, Kent: 14 May 1857

died London: 1 March 1935



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