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Scrymsour, Ella M

Entry updated 9 October 2023. Tagged: Author.

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Working name of Ella Mary Scrymsour-Nichol (1888-1962), UK actress and author, daughter-in-law of C A Scrymsour Nichol; her sf novel, The Perfect World: A Romance of Strange People and Strange Places (fixup 1922), is thought by E F Bleiler almost certainly to consist of two separate magazine novels here published sequentially; however, as Scrymsour clearly attempted to weave their plots together, we designate the outcome a Fixup. In the first main sequence the two young gentlemen protagonists are transported from a company town dominated by their family coalmine into an Underground cave system where an oligarchic Lost Race of dwarf Israelites – exiled after an Old Testament quarrel – has lived for 3000 years and grown horns. After they finally emerge in Australia, after missing World War One, and noting that the End of the World is nigh, they escape in the nick of time with their uncle – who is responsible for the Invention of a suitable space-ready Airship – to Jupiter, where a similar oligarchy, this time pre-Adamic (see Adam and Eve), subjects the main protagonist – as had happened already underground – to erotic inducements. He marries the relevant princess and together they rule Jupiter in peace. In dealing with the sinlessness of the Jovians, Scrymsour ineffectively prefigured the work of C S Lewis. The Bridge of Distances (1924) is a Reincarnation fantasy.

An incorrect identification of Scrymsour as Scrymgeour appears to result from a 1925 misreading of the name by the New York Times [see links below, especially the second]. [JC/SH]

Ella Mary Scrymsour-Nichol, née Ella Mary Campbell-Robertson

born Battersea, London: 25 December 1888

died Frant, East Sussex: 26 May 1962



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