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Shaw, W J

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(?   -?   ) US author of a Hollow Earth tale, Under the Auroras: A Marvellous Tale of the Interior World by an American Author, Playwright, and Journalist (1888; vt Cresten, Queen of the Toitus; Or, Under the Auroras 1892 as W J Shaw). Within the double narrative frame – the real protagonist, Amos Jackson, tells an unnamed interlocutor the story of his adventures – a Symmesian inner world (see John Cleves Symmes) is described, accessed through the North Pole by Balloon. It is a bounteous world seemingly ripe for Imperialist exploitation, as its inhabitants, who lack the Christian Religion, are perceived by Jackson as animals despite their speaking a form of early Norwegian, an assumption only strengthened by the unnatural speed at which their queen Cresten acquires English. But they marry regardless. Her Immortality ends after the Fountain of Youth is destroyed by an earthquake. [JC]

William Jenkins Shaw

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