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Calderon, George

Entry updated 5 August 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1868-1915) UK playwright, linguistic scholar, translator and author perhaps best known for his advocacy of the plays of Anton Chekhov, many of which he translated; he died on active service in World War One, aged 46. The Adventures of Downy V Green, Rhodes Scholar at Oxford (1902) is a Fantasy of Manners [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. The "Missing Link" protagonist of his sf Satire on Evolution, Dwala: A Romance (1904), is "as like a human [being] as any ape can get" (see Apes as Human), and after his discovery in Borneo rises effortlessly through the ranks of London society, where, now known as Prince Dwala, he meets various characteristic and recognizable figures, including Sherlock Holmes; he is soon elected to Parliament and eventually, in the very Near Future, after a government collapse causes widespread famine, becomes Prime Minister. His subsequent attempts to create a Utopia are thwarted by the exposure of his origins, and his death from tuberculosis. Calderon's tale is less thematically complex than Frank Challice Constable's The Curse of Intellect (1895) (whom see for details), but shares some of its conservative ironies. He was also noted for his opposition to the Women's Suffrage movement. [JC]

George Leslie Calderon

born St Marylebone, Middlesex [ie London]: 2 December 1868

died The Dardanelles, Turkey: missing in action 4 June 1915

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