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Collin de Plancy, Jacques

Entry updated 9 August 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1793-1881) French demonologist and author, born without the aspirational "de Plancy", though he used the full name for much of his life; best known for his Dicionnaire Infernal ["Dictionary of the Infernal"] (1818), which he added and republished in various forms over several decades. He is of Proto SF interest for Voyage au centre de la terre, ou, Aventures diverses de Clairancy et de se compagnons, dans le Spitzberg, au Pôle-Nord, et dans des pays inconnus [subtitle translates "Or, various adventures of Clairancy and his companions in the Spitzberg, and the North Pole, and in unknown countries"] (1821; trans Brian Stableford as Voyage to the Center of the Earth 2016), describing a Fantastic Voyage into the Hollow Earth, where the travellers discover a Utopian country whose temperate refusal of Panglossian remedies evokes Voltaire's Candide (1759). Eventually the cast returns to the surface, where life is more exciting. [JC]

Jacques-Albin Simon Collin de Plancy

born Plancy-l'Abbaye, Aube, France: 28 January 1793

died Paris: 13 January 1881

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