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Squire, J C

Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

(1884-1958) UK author, poet, essayist, historian and literary editor whose health barred him from active service in World War One, though he was active in the Home Guard; he also wrote as by Solomon Eagle. Some of his fiction – like "The March of Progress" about Atlantis, in The Gold Tree (coll 1917 chap) – was of modest sf interest; some of the Parodies assembled in Imaginary Speeches (coll 1912) and Steps to Parnassus (coll 1913), the second published by his own firm, are executed in impossible contexts. He also collaborated with John L Balderston on the Timeslip fantasy play Berkeley Square (1928 chap).

Squire is of particular sf interest for editing the seminal Alternate History story and essay anthology If It had Happened Otherwise: Lapses into Imaginary History (anth 1931; vt If: or History Rewritten 1931; exp 1972), which assembles a series of Thought Experiments, most first published here, each extrapolating from a Jonbar Point. Among the contributions are his own squib, "If It Had Been Discovered in 1930 That Bacon Really Did Write Shakespeare" (see Shakespeare), and Winston S Churchill's "If Lee Had Not Won the Battle of Gettysburg" (December 1930 Scribner's). The 1972 reissue adds two further contributions, one by the noted historian A J P Taylor (1906-1990) and one, "If Napoleon had Won the Battle of Waterloo" (July 1907 Westminster Gazette) by G M Trevelyan. Squire was knighted in 1933. [DRL/JC]

Sir John Collings Squire

born Plymouth, Devon: 2 April 1884

died Rushlake Green, Warbleton, Sussex: 20 December 1958

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