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Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

Pseudonym of US author J L Collins (?   -?   ), of whom nothing is known except his authoring of two novels as by Jonquil, the non-fantastic Was She Engaged? (1871); and Queen Krinaleen's Plagues; Or, How a Simple People Were Destroyed. A Discourse in the Twenty-Second Century (1874), a very early example of the sf novel in which the past (that is, the period during which the novel was actually published) is misunderstood by a contemplator – often literally an archaeologist – from the future. This Ruins and Futurity topos, very popular in the 1870s in its New Zealander guise, may have inspired Jonquil's text, whose twenty-second century narrator's explanation of the depopulation of the United States is linguistically confused (Blacks are termed Knee Gross, etc) and condescending. En passant, Evolution and Feminism are mocked, and America's fall is ultimately explained in terms of Satire: Queen Krinaleen of France curses the United States with seven plagues, almost all of them exposing American females to the temptations of foreign fashion. [JC]

J L Collins




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