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Strang, Herbert

Collaborative pseudonym of UK editors and authors George Herbert Ely (1866-1958) and C J L'Estrange (1867-1947), who worked as Co-Editors in the Juvenile Department of Oxford University Press 1907-1939, publishing most of their later books through that firm; apparently Ely plotted the tales and L'Estrange wrote them down. The name was used on a large number of boys' adventure stories from about 1883, among them a series of novels about futuristic Transportation devices, including King of the Air, or To Morocco on an Airship (1908), in which a primitive aircraft carrier is used to refuel an advanced Airship; Lord of the Seas: A Story of a Submarine (1908), clearly evocative of Jules Verne's Captain Nemo sequence (see Under the Sea); The Cruise of the Gyro-Car (1910), Round the World in Seven Days (1910), the trip being made by two young men in a reinforced biplane with an advanced engine (see Inventions), who cross the Atlantic non-stop; The Flying Boat: A Story of Adventure and Misadventure (1912) and A Thousand Miles an Hour (1924). These were very competently written, with a certain Edwardian dash (see Imperialism), and a fair amount of racist Cliché.

Strang also published Future-War stories like The Air Scout: A Tale of National Defense (1912), a Near Future Yellow Peril tale in which the Chinese mount an Invasion of Australia and The Air Patrol: A Tale of the North-West Frontier (1913), whose boy hero use planes to thwart similar threats to India from Mongolian invaders. His Lost Race novels include Sultan Jim: Empire Builder (1913), set in Central Africa; The Old Man of the Mountain (1916), set in the Himalayas and featuring an Antihero who uses high Technology tools to maintain his rule; and The Heir of a Hundred Kings (1924), where the lost race is found in Egypt. As Mrs Herbert Strang Ely and L'Estrange also wrote tales for girls, including The Girl Crusoes: A Tale of the South Seas (1912), a nonfantastic Robinsonade. [JC/PN]

George Herbert Ely

born London: 1866

died Reading, Berkshire: 7 September 1958

Charles James L'Estrange

born London: 1867

died Tiverton, Devon: 8 January 1947



Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 02:15 am on 20 August 2022.