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Merlin Nostradamus

Entry updated 12 July 2021. Tagged: Author.

Pseudonym of Irish author Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1904) for The Age of Science: A Newspaper of the Twentieth Century (1877), a Satire purporting to replicate the New Year's Day issue of a 1977 newspaper (hence Nostradamus in his nom de guerre), which reveals the world of a century hence to have become a Dystopia. Medicine, though much advanced technically, has become a tool for the oppression of women (see Feminism); they are forbidden to read or write, and may be institutionalized for mental disorders on the say-so of any medical doctor.

Cobbe's use of the Merlin Nostradamus pseudonym is confirmed in the biography Frances Power Cobbe: Victorian Feminist, Journalist, Reformer (2004) by Sally Mitchell. The general thrust of The Age of Science is echoed in some nonfiction published under her own name, in particular The Scientific Spirit of the Age and Other Pleas and Discussions (1888). [JC/MA]

Frances Power Cobbe

born Dublin, Ireland: 4 December 1822

died Hengwrt, near Dolgellau, Merionethshire [now Gwynedd]: 5 April 1904

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