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Burnaby, Fred

Entry updated 11 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

(1842-1885) UK soldier, traveller and author, almost exclusively of travel books retailing his own exploits in Turkey, Russia and elsewhere; his sf novel, Our Radicals: A Tale of Love and Politics (1886 2vols), was posthumous. He was co-founder of the magazine Vanity Fair, and his life and opinions combined broad hints of Decadence and a flamboyant high toryism. All of this is reflected in his one work of fiction, a Near Future political drama and polemic in which the British abandon their far-flung empire while, closer to home, Irish rebels blow up the great tunnel connecting Dublin to Holyhead. Eventually a Burnaby-like soldier quashes the Irish and becomes dictator, his loyalty to the Queen unimpaired. Burnaby himself had died in combat, charging the Mahdi valiantly after issuing a damaging order to his troops. [JC]

Frederick Gustavus Burnaby

born Bedford, Bedfordshire: 3 March 1842

died at the battle of Abu Klea, Egypt: 17 January 1885



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