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Fawcett, E Douglas

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1866-1960) UK author and mystical thinker, long resident in Switzerland. His first (and best-known) sf novel, Hartmann the Anarchist, or The Doom of the Great City (June-September 1893 The English Illustrated Magazine; 1893), illustrated by Fred T Jane, features a 1920 anarchist revolution against a wicked, capitalist UK, with London being destroyed by Airships; but, in the face of opposition and gripped by guilt, the rebel Hartmann eventually destroys himself and the Attila, his fearsome Airship, and all is well (except for London). The subtitle is lifted from William Delisle Hay's The Doom of the Great City (1880 chap); the attempt to dominate from the air, as in several stories featuring anarchists with airships, derives from Jules Verne's Robur the Conqueror (1886), and prefigures the more high-minded Pax Aeronautica tales of the new century. The Hollow Earth featured in Swallowed by an Earthquake (1894), a juvenile, is a non-Symmesian (see John Cleves Symmes) Lost World uncompellingly cluttered with prehistoric reptiles and sentient creatures identified as Neanderthal but clearly better described in Apes as Human terms; in the end, the sea inundates the inner world. The Secret of the Desert, or How We Crossed Arabia in the "Antelope" (1895) is about a secret amphibious tank (see Inventions; Transportation), perhaps the first fictional description of something like a tank, which crosses Arabia, finding there a Lost Race of Phoenicians. [JC]

Edward Douglas Fawcett

born Hove, Sussex: 11 April 1866

died London: 14 April 1960



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