Entry updated 15 October 2018. Tagged: Author.
(1706-1776) UK author, curate and schoolmaster in Halton Gill, Littondale, Yorkshire, who wrote and published the Proto SF narrative The History of Israel Jobson, the Wandering Jew [for subtitle see Checklist] (1757 chap) as by M W, as a device for teaching his young pupils about astronomy. This story takes the titular Wandering Jew character – a cobbler – on an angelically mediated Fantastic Voyage to the Moon and other worlds of our Solar System including Mars and Saturn (see Outer Planets), all inhabited by bizarre Aliens. Apparently the teaching ploy misfired when parents believed Wilson was trying to promote his fiction as fact; he had to retrieve the books and promise to destroy them, though evidently some escaped. [DRL]
born 1706 [baptized 22 September]
- The History of Israel Jobson, the Wandering Jew. Giving a description of his pedigree, Travels in this lower World, and his Assumption thro' the Starry Regions, conducted by a Guardian Angel, exhibiting in a curious Manner the Shapes, Lives, and Customs of the Inhabitants of the Moon and Planets; touching upon the great and memorable Comet in 1758, and interwoven all along with the Solution of the Phaenomena of the true Solar System, and Principles of Natural Philosophy, concording with the latest Discoveries of the most able Astronomers. Translated from the original Chinese by M.W. (London: Printed for J Nicholson [also given as Nickolson], Bookseller in Cambridge, 1757) [chap: binding unknown/]
about the author
- George Kumler Anderson. The History of Israel Jobson (Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa, 1946) [nonfiction: hb/]
- Raymond John Howgego. Encyclopedia of Exploration: Invented and Apocryphal Narratives of Travel: A Comprehensive Guide to Invented, Imaginary, Apocryphal and Plagiarized Narratives of Travel by Land, Sea and Air, from the Earliest Times to the Twentieth Century (Potts Point, New South Wales: Hordern House Rare Books, 2013) [nonfiction: p489-490: hb/from J M W Turner]
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