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Hale, Edward Everett

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1822-1909) US Unitarian preacher, abolitionist, contributing editor to The Atlantic Monthly and author, who often wrote as by Captain Frederic Ingham, though sometimes Ingham serves as frame narrator for Club Stories. Ingham provides something of this function in Hale's best known single work, The Man Without a Country (December 1863 The Atlantic Monthly; 1865 chap), later assembled in The Man Without a Country and Other Tales (coll 1868), about an army officer who abjures his native country with a curse, and is doomed, perhaps echoing the Flying Dutchman [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], never again to see or hear news of his homeland. Sybaris and Other Homes (coll 1869; vt Colonel Ingham's Visit to Sybaris 2009) is of some sf interest, specifically for "My Visit to Sybaris: From the Rev Frederic Ingham's Papers" (July 1867 Atlantic Monthly), describing a Utopian colony of Sybarians uncovered on an Island off the coast of Italy (see Lost Race).

Back to Back: A Story of Today (1878; exp vt How They Lived in Hampton 1888) [for full titles see Checklist below] unexcitedly proposes a modestly utopian system of cooperation between workers and owners, but more tamely in Massachusetts. In much the same vein, the Ten Times One sequence, beginning with Ten Times One Is Ten: The Possible Reformation: A Story in Nine Chapters (January-June 1870 Old and New; 1871) as by Captain Frederic Ingham, narratizes into utopian proposals the haunting of ten active men, who are possessed into applying the social benefits conveyed through the ideas of the dead Harry Wadsworth, a virtuous bluestocking unused (it may be) to manifesting as an apparition. Four and Five: A Story of a Lend-a-Hand Club: Ten Times One Series (1891) and other titles further the same uplifting regimen.

Also of sf interest from Hale's prolific but heterogeneous output are "Crusoe in New York" (187? Frank Leslie's Illustrated Paper), an educational Robinsonade couched as a Parody of the original novel and set in Manhattan (see New York); and Hands Off (March 1881 Harper's New Monthly Magazine; 1895 chap), which interestingly places two time-travelling spirits in Biblical times, where as an experiment they construct an Alternate History in which the young Joseph escapes being sold into Egyptian Slavery, with disastrous results, including the Phoenician conquest of the Mediterranean.

Hale is of greatest sf importance for "The Brick Moon: from the Papers of Captain Frederic Ingham" (October 1869 The Atlantic Monthly) and its short sequel, "Life in the Brick Moon" (February 1870 The Atlantic Monthly), both being revised into one story in His Level Best and Other Stories (coll 1873), later reprinted in The Brick Moon and Other Stories (coll 1899); it was finally published independently as The Brick Moon: From the Papers of Captain Frederic Ingham (1971 chap), the whole told within a loose Club Story frame under the aegis of Captain Ingham . This assemblage of story fragments and reminiscences comprises probably the first even remotely convincing attempt to describe an artificial Earth satellite or Space Station, along with its accidental launching into orbit and the attempts of those stranded upon it to survive. In The Brick Moon & Another Brick in the Moon (anth/coll 2014), Adam Roberts offers a kind of Sequel by Another Hand that spoofs, mildly, the implausibilities of the original.

The Tales for Travellers series, under Hale's editorship, each comprised one Hale story and others by various hands, some sf. [JC]

see also: History of SF; Invention.

Edward Everett Hale

born Roxbury, Massachusetts: 3 April 1822

died Roxbury [annexed to Boston 1868], Massachusetts: 10 June 1909



Ten Times One

individual titles

works as editor


Tales for Travellers

individual titles as editor

about the author


previous versions of this entry

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