Richard Jefferies, After London; or Wild England

Research output: Book/ReportScholarly edition

Abstract

Richard Jefferies’ After London is uncanny and intriguing, an adventure story, quest romance, dystopia, and Darwinian novel rolled into one, but also a pioneering work of Victorian science fiction. Imagining a mysterious natural catastrophe that plunges its people into a barbaric future, Jefferies remarkable novel drowns and destroys London and depicts a challenging ‘Wild England’ dominated by nature and filled with evolved animals and devolved humans. Of its time but also distinctively modern, After London can, in its uneasy expression of Victorian and post-Victorian anxieties about industrial development, urbanisation, natural resources, and climate, be regarded as one of the first novels of the Anthropocene. This new critical edition provides one of the earliest examples of a global catastrophe novel that is part of a flowering of nineteenth-century science fiction. It situates After London in a tradition of mid-late Victorian texts that respond to the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace and responds to a host of other key social, political, and cultural issues of the period.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages272
ISBN (Print)978-1474402392
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Publication series

NameEdinburgh Critical Editions of Nineteenth-Century Texts
PublisherEdinburgh University Press

Keywords

  • environment, floods, water, forest, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Richard Jefferies, Mediævalism, Romance, Pastoral

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