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Brophy, Brigid

Entry updated 24 October 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1929-1995) UK author whose first collection, The Crown Princess & Other Stories (coll 1953), contains a nostalgic fantasy, "Late Afternoon of a Faun", and whose second, The Adventures of God in His Search for the Black Girl (coll 1973), assembles a series of fables and Satires, also told as fantasies. Her first novel of interest is Hackenfeller's Ape (1953), an Apes as Human tale set in Regent's Park Zoo in very Near Future London, where the eponymous ape, under observation as a proto-human (see Evolution), is caught in a conflict between the professor investigating him and the British military establishment, which plans to send the ape into space. The ape is accidentally shot. Desperate for Britain to engage in Space Flight, a military officer then skins the ape, clothes himself in the hide, and boards the ship thus disguised. The ship launches; he does not return.

In Transit: An Heroi-Cyclic Novel (1969), playfully transfigures an airport into a fantasticated Keep, where language games, unfolding Sex issues and problems of Identity precede a coup (see Absurdist SF). Palace Without Chairs: A Baroque Novel (1978) is a Graustarkian tale (see Ruritania) set in the Balkan land of Evarchia, which rules an offshore Archipelago, each Island significantly different. Brophy's interest in animal rights, the sexual transgressiveness of some of her fiction, and her combative Feminism, made her a figure of growing interest – though Fifty Works of English and American Literature We Could Do Without (1967) with Michael Levey and Charles Osborne was sophomoric – until multiple sclerosis ended her active career in 1982. [JC]

Brigid Antonia Susan Brophy

born London: 12 June 1929

died Lincolnshire: 2 August 1995

works (selected)




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