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Beale, Charles Willing

Entry updated 11 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

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(1845-1932) US civil engineer, resort hotel owner and author, in whose best-known novel, The Ghost of Guir House (1897), the discovery of a ruined house conveys a Ruins and Futurity lesson, for contemplation of the ruins grants a vision of a Utopian future described in Theosophical terms. Of sf interest is The Secret of the Earth (1899), in which aeronauts piloting an Antigravity-powered Airship descend through a Symmes Hole (see John Cleves Symmes) at the North Pole into the expected Hollow Earth. They contact what seem to be several Lost Races, who (seemingly effete) pay them little heed; eventually, progressing ever deeper, they learn that humanity originated in the heart of the planet, but that the more unruly elements had long ago been expelled from the inner world, and live in exile on the surface. They make their own departure through the Antarctic Symmes Hole, and crash on an island in the Pacific, where they write down their experiences, depositing the resulting manuscript in a watertight container. [JC]

Charles Willing Beale

born Washington, District of Columbia: 9 December 1845

died Arden, North Carolina: 16 August 1932

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