THE STRIKE OF A SEX. A NOVEL. Chicago: Stockham Publishing Co., n.d. Octavo, pp. [1-7] 8-235 [236-240: ads], original red wrappers printed in black. Later printing. This is a facsimile reprint of a Stockham reprint (designated the "thirtieth thousand" at the top edge of the title page) of the 1890 Dillingham edition. 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). 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. A fine copy. (#165931).
"THIRTIETH THOUSAND" at head of title.