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Cowan, Frank

Entry updated 20 September 2020. Tagged: Author.

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(1844-1905) US newspaper editor and author whose Revi-Lona: A Romance of Love in a Marvelous Land (1879), is a Parody of the Lost Race novels so popular in the late nineteenth century. It is set, like many of them, in a clement enclave at one of the poles (in this case Antarctica), where a council of matriarchs falls under the narrator's sexual sway (he sleeps with the entire 25-strong governing council). The results are syphilis and suicide, death and disaster and the escape of the hero (at the cost of the death of all his wives and children). Some sharp points are made about Utopias; it may be anachronistic to suggest that Cowan was also making a point about the destruction of native cultures by the West, though it is extremely tempting to think he was not unconscious of this reading of his text. [JC]

Frank Cowan

born Greensburg, Pennsylvania: 11 December 1844

died Greensburg, Pennsylvania: 12 February 1905

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