THE ANGEL OF THE REVOLUTION: A TALE OF THE COMING TERROR. George Griffith, George Chetwynd Griffith-Jones.

THE ANGEL OF THE REVOLUTION: A TALE OF THE COMING TERROR. London: Tower Publishing Company Limited, 1893. Octavo, pp. [i-vi] vii-viii [1] 2-393 [394: ad], inserted frontispiece with illustration by E. S. Hope and sixteen inserted plates with illustrations by Fred T. Jane, original pictorial bevel-edged blue cloth, front panel stamped in black and gold, spine panel stamped in gold, slate coated endpapers. First edition. The author's first novel, preceded by two poetry books published pseudonymously as "Lara." From 1871 to 1914 future war fiction was enormously popular in Europe and America. Griffith was one of the writers who realized the destructive power that aerial warfare would bring to future conflict, as well as the overall impact of new technology on armed conflict. In Griffith's hugely popular and very influential novel the inventor of a new flying ship joins the Brotherhood of Freedom, an organization that controls the work of Nihilists, Anarchists, and Socialists throughout the world and is popularly known as the Terror. When war starts in Europe the daughter of the mysterious Master of the Terrorists, Natas (Satan backwards), plans to let the European powers destroy each other and then the Brotherhood will step in and take over Europe which will then be united (under Anglo-Saxon rule) into a single force to meet the "impending flood of yellow barbarians" assumed to be forming in the East. As the war progresses the Russians overrun all of Europe and invade England. After England's king (Edward VII) surrenders to the Brotherhood, the Russian attackers in England are slaughtered and the Brotherhood's air force quickly conquers the Russian homeland. There is no invasion from Asia and the West is at peace under socialist rule. "THE ANGEL OF THE REVOLUTION is remarkable not only for its extravagant visions of aerial bombing and mass destruction but also for its bastardized political ideology, which is a curious mixture of radical opinions ... Along with M. P. Shiel and H. G. Wells, he anticipated that the next war might be 'the most frightful carnival of destruction the world has ever seen,' involving the slaughter of millions of people, mostly noncombatants. This did not, however, deter him from looking forward to that conflict hopefully and enthusiastically. Like Shiel, he was an Anglo-Saxon chauvinist; like Wells a socialist; and he was hopeful that the apocalyptic clash of forces might result in the end of tyranny in Europe and the permanent victory of Christendom over the religious empires of the East. The attainment of such an end, in his view, would easily justify the death of millions ... By the time Griffith wrote his last novel, THE LORD OF LABOUR (published posthumously in 1911), his war of the imminent future was being fought with atomic missiles and disintegrator rays. He was still looking forward eagerly to the conflict. What effect the spectacle of the actual Great War might have had on his imaginative enthusiasm we can only guess." - Survey of Science Fiction Literature I, pp. 67-71. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 2-84; (1981) 1-83; (1987) 1-41; (1995) 1-41; and (2004) II-465. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 929. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 365. Clarke, Tale of the Future (1978), p. 19. Clarke, Voices Prophesying War: Future Wars 1763-3749, p. 229. Lewis, Utopian Literature, p. 76. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 97. Negley, Utopian Literature 468. Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, Additions. Stableford, Scientific Romance in Britain 1890-1950, pp. 36, 45-7. Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 52. Bleiler (1978), p. 87. Reginald 06364. Hubin (1994), p. 355. Small bookseller's ticket affixed to upper front paste-down, presentation gift label affixed to front paste-down. Cloth rubbed at edges, some foxing to the first two preliminary and last two terminal leaves, a solid, clean, nearly fine copy. The first edition is very uncommon. (#156101).

Price: $1,000.00

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