THE STRIKE OF A SEX and ZUGASSENT'S DISCOVERY, OR AFTER THE SEX STRUCK ... (with author's preface). New and revised edition. Chicago: Stockham Publishing Co., Inc., . Octavo, pp. [1-2] 3-119 [120-128: publisher's ads], original tan wrappers printed in black. First combined edition. The book is identified on the title page and cover as a "New and Revised Edition," which is true enough though not as precise as one might like. Miller's THE STRIKE OF A SEX first appeared as an anonymous American paperback in 1890 and that edition is rare. It was published in England by Reeves in 1895, the same year that ZUGASSENT'S DISCOVERY, a loose sequel, appeared in the U.S. The sequel was subsequently published in England in 1896 by William Reeves as part of its Bellamy Library (i.e., utopian works in some way connected or connectable to Bellamy's hugely influential 1888 novel, LOOKING BACKWARD). The present combined text was used by Arno for its reprint series of utopian works. "As for the content of the story, it is a significant document in the second big wave of feminism (the first being taken as the period around Mary Wollstonecraft's 1792 A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN, and the third as the period starting in the early 1970s). This second wave, part of a large and general cultural ferment, promoted sexual freedom (or the beginning of what would now be called reproductive rights) as well as political power. In this sleeper-awakes tale of the future, the narrator discovers that women have (in a variation on Aristophanes' 'Lysistrata') banded together and gone on strike, not to stop war, as in the case of Aristophanes, but to stop being forced to have babies they don't want. Indeed, the focus on sexual freedom is evident in the appearance of this present edition as part of the publisher's "Books on Health and Sexual Science" series. Alice B. Stockham, the publisher, was a medical doctor (the fifth female doctor certified in the United States) and a promoter of various causes, some but not all of which would be seen as in harmony with other 'progressive' positions of then (and now). The 'discovery' of Zugassent, though never spelled out, had something to with coitus reservatus, which points up some of the internal tensions in the feminism (and progressivism generally) of the period: between hedonism and puritanism; and between pragmatism (get rid of corsets) and occultism (shun mechanical barriers for birth control as they impede the exchange of magnetism or vibrations between the couple)." - Robert Eldridge. For THE STRIKE OF A SEX, see Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1492 (citing a reprint). Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, p. 86. Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 46 (citing a 63-page British edition, a presumed reprint). Eaton Catalogue II, p.416 (listing a reprint). Bleiler (1978), p. 140. Reginald 37970. Not in Negley. Wright (III) 3735 (locating DLC copy only). For ZUGASSENT'S DISCOVERY, see Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1492 (citing the present edition). Lewis, Utopian Literature, p. 124 (ditto)). Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, p. 86 (misdating 1891). Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, pp. 114-5. Bleiler (1978), p. 140 (citing an 1895 Arena edition). Not in Reginald (1979; 1992). Not in Negley. 7 mm tear to top edge of front cover, some mild dustiness on last page, still a nearly fine copy. A very uncommon edition of this book. (#141163).
"NEW AND REVISED EDITION" on title page.