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Caine, Hall

Entry updated 11 September 2023. Tagged: Author.

(1853-1931) UK playwright and author whose novels sold enormously in the late nineteenth century, but were almost forgotten by his death; he was a friend of Bram Stoker, who dedicated Dracula (1897) with a reference, in Manx, to his extremely short stature. The Mahdi, or Love and Race (1894) depicts a Near-Future uprising in Morocco at the behest of the eponymous leader of the faithful. The Eternal City (1901), printed in a first edition of 100,000, sets a complex intrigue alight in a Pope-dominated Rome: a republic is founded, partly because of the moral rectitude of the Pope's Christ-like biological son, etc. Though the main action is a contemporary reworking of the 1848 Roman revolution (with a different outcome), there is a coda set in a Utopian Roman Republic of 1950, whose civic charter is the Lord's Prayer. The White Prophet (1909), again marginally displaced into the future, is set in Egypt, where intrigue is rife. A play, The Prime Minister (written circa 1911; 1918), also set in the Near Future, again depicts the great effect of romance on the fate of nations. [JC/AR]

Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine

born Runcorn, Cheshire: 14 May 1853

died Greeba Castle, Isle of Man: 31 August 1931

works (highly selected)



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