Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.
(1837-1909) Scottish mathematician of some eminence (though forgotten until recently in the UK) and author of Mr Stranger's Sealed Packet (1889), an interplanetary Scientific Romance couched as Children's SF, which describes an Antigravity-powered journey via Spaceship to Mars, and the discovery there of two races of Earth origin, one of which has attained a Utopian ideal (see Life on Other Worlds). Although lacking the depths of Percy Greg's influential Across the Zodiac (1880), the book proved popular and may in turn have influenced H G Wells, not only for the antigravity engine mentioned above, but also for its account of the death of a Martian through exposure to bacteria in Earth's atmosphere. Ednor Whitlock (1891), his only other work of fiction, presents a case against Evolution, advocating in its place the concept of intelligent design. [JE/JC]
born Argyll, Scotland: 11 January 1837
died Boulogne, France: 29 December 1909
- Mr Stranger's Sealed Packet (London: Chatto and Windus, 1889) [hb/]
- Ednor Whitlock (London: Chatto and Windus, 1891) [hb/]
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