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Brown, Joseph M

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1851-1932) US politician, governor of Georgia (1909-1911, 1912-1913), and author in whose sf romance, Astyanax: An Epic Romance of Ilion, Atlantis and Amaraca (1907) Scamandrius, the son of Hector, is not killed by Neoptolemus during the Trojan War, but grows up worthy his nickname of Astyanax, "prince of cities". Gathering the survivors of Troy he first visits Atlantis, but finding treachery there passes on to found New Ilion on an unknown Island; only later, after the destruction of Atlantis, does he continue with his band to America, where he becomes involves with early Incas and Mayans, whom he sorts out, founding a city-dominated empire there. As in so many novels of this era, sf and fantasy narratives intertwine lubriciously. Hindsight – a century on – might forcedly apply the concept of Equipoise to Brown's constant shifts of genre; but it would be unwise to insist that Brown was in this sense conscious of his effects.

In his later years, Brown notoriously incited mob violence against Leo Frank, a Jewish industrialist whose conviction for raping an employee was properly commuted in 1914. Frank was duly lynched by a Georgia mob two years later in Marietta. [JC]

Joseph Mackey Brown

born Canton, Georgia: 28 December 1851

died Marietta, Georgia: 3 March 1932



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