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Tillyard, Aelfrida

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1883-1959) UK religious thinker, medium, activist and author who began publishing as early as 1905, but who first gained attention for editing Cambridge Poets 1910-1913: An Anthology (anth 1913); she published mostly under her own name, though some work was released as by Mrs Constantine Graham. She is now probably best remembered for her two 1930s Scientific Romances (others, written in the 1950s, remain unpublished). Set after a series of Holocausts, Concrete: A Story of Two Hundred Years Hence (1930) features an irreligious Dystopia, which holds under its rigid sway Great Britain and most of the civilized Post-Holocaust world, imposing a ruthless Eugenics-based population control on its passive citizenry. The Minister of Reason goes by the name of Big Brother; it has been plausibly speculated that Concrete influenced both Aldous Huxley in Brave New World (1932) and, of course, George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). The dystopia is contrasted unfavourably with an island Utopia under the sway of the Christian Religion. The Approaching Storm (1932) more conventionally posits a Near Future left-wing dictatorship in the UK. [JC]

Aelfrida Catherine Wetenhall Tillyard

born Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: 5 October 1883

died Oxford, Oxfordshire: 15 December 1959



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