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Nicholson, Joseph Shield

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1850-1927) UK mathematician, economist and author, in Scotland from 1880, most famous for Principles of Political Economic (1893-1901 3vols), also well-known for his journalism. He is of sf interest for two novels. Thoth: A Romance (1888; exp 1889) is an impressive Lost-World novel set around 400 BCE, where a City in the North African desert, settled 2,000 years earlier, has benefited from the scientific advances of its ruler, Thoth the First, who remains in Suspended Animation; but submarines, a rigorous application of Eugenics in order to develop giant and pygmy slave classes, and Airships fail to save the civilization from fatal degeneration caused mainly by savage misogyny, with women kept in pens as breeders (see Women in SF). The second edition contains an explanatory introduction and appendix. Less interestingly, in Toxar: A Romance (1890) the last survivor of an ancient Telepathic race runs amok in ancient Greece. A Dreamer of Dreams (1889) is fantasy, in which the dreamer in question visits the Devil; Tales from Ariosto (coll 1913) presents prose extracts from the epic by Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533) (see Italy). [See also The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below.] [JC]

Joseph Shield Nicholson

born Wrawby, Lincolnshire: 9 November 1850

died Edinburgh, Scotland: 12 May 1927



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