Entry updated 9 May 2022. Tagged: Author.
(1844-1930) US teacher and author of Mizora: A Prophecy [for subtitle and vts see Checklist below] (November 1880-February 1881 Cincinnati Commercial; 1890) as by Princess Vera Zarovitch; the Princess is presumed to narrate. In the frame story she escapes Tsarist Russia northwards through the winter to the North Pole, where she is taken by a whirlwind in the orthodox Symmes manner into a Hollow Earth world called Mizora, the heavens lit by a form of inherent electricity. She discovers there a part-radical, part-conservative 3,000-year-old Utopia, an all-female society (see Feminism) from which poverty and strife have been eliminated. Men, over a long prior history of strife which allegorizes American history, decimated themselves during and after a terrible civil war, and are allowed to disappear entirely after women discover the secret of parthenogenesis (see Clones). They now enjoy an advanced Technology, with degrading "women's tasks" handled by Automata. Because of its patent irrationality, Religion has disappeared. The race is continually elevated through Eugenics: criminals, imbeciles, and those with "coarse" personalities, as well as dark-skinned women in general (see Race in SF), are prohibited from procreation (Mizorans are universally blonde). Sex is eschewed. Crime does not exist. After fifteen years, Princess Zarovitch returns to the surface, and undertakes good works.
Mizora is notable for the ruthlessness of its social speculations, quite extreme for nineteenth-century utopian writing; and is a very early example of full-length sf by a woman in America (see Women SF Writers). No copies of a second novel, «Escanaba» (copyrighted 1895), have been found. [PN/JC]
Mary Ellen Bradley Lane
born St Mary's, Auglaise County, Ohio: 3 July 1844
died Transit, Hamilton Country, Ohio: 6 January 1930
- Mizora: A Prophecy: A Mss. Found Among the Private Papers of Princess Vera Zarovitch: Being a True and Faithful Account of her Journey to the Interior of the Earth, with a Careful Description of the Country and its Inhabitants, their Customs, Manners and Government, Written by Herself (New York: G W Dillingham, 1890) as by Princess Vera Zarovitch [first appeared November 1880-February 1881 Cincinnati Commercial: pb/uncredited]
- Mizora: A Prophecy: A Mss. Found Among the Private Papers of Princess Vera Zarovitch: Being a True and Faithful Account of her Journey to the Interior of the Earth, with a Careful Description of the Country and its Inhabitants, their Customs, Manners and Government, Written by Herself (Boston, Massachusetts: Gregg Press, 1975) as Mary E Bradley Lane [first publication under author's name: hb/]
- Mizora: A World of Women (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press/Bison Books, 1999) [vt of the above: introduction by Joan Saberhagen: pb/R W Boeche]
- Mizora: A Prophecy (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2000) [vt of the above: edited with introduction by Jean Pfaelzer: pb/Fred Wellner]
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