Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

More Research

To the British Library again, where I had a look at Robert William Cole's other books, which are even more obscure than The Struggle For Empire. I was hoping that one or more would be another scientific romance, but no such luck. Quick synopses (bearing in mind that I skimmed them fairly quickly):

His Other Self: The Story of a Man with a Past - 1906
A former wastrel who has found love and turned over a new leaf is intermittently possessed by his rakish past self, who does all the things that the hero no longer wants to do - boozing, chasing loose women, etc. - to teach the hero some sort of moral lesson. Eventually the hero is prepared to renounce his fiancée to ensure that her life will be happy, even if he is miserable. This apparently proves that he is worthy, and the haunting ends.

The Death Trap - 1907
Germany, France, and Russia go to war with Britain (the French under duress, the others willingly), destroy the British fleet, and invade southern England. Britain is nearly defeated, and comes close to revolution due to dastardly German agents and government bungling, but a heroic general leads Britain to victory, aided by the Japanese navy (the Japanese apparently remember Britain as allies from their war with Japan) who take out the German fleet at the eleventh hour - the French quietly switching sides just before the battle. I suppose it is technically a future war story, but there are none of the tropes of scientific romance; the technology is what was available at the time.

The Artificial Girl - 1908
Very disappointing - it sounds like it's about androids, actually it's about transvestitism! The hero (for want of a better word) disguises himself as his sister so that he can attend her finishing school and pursue the girl he loves. Amazingly, this ends without him being arrested, sued, or kicked in the goolies, and with the girl he has pursued possibly falling in love with him. I suspect that they hadn't quite developed the concept of stalking in 1908...

I also checked on the magazine publication of Kipling's As Easy As A.B.C. and confirmed that there was a version in The London Magazine, March 1912, though I wasn't able to confirm if it was illustrated. But given that the date's right, I shall try to get hold of a copy if I can.

Total walked today about 6.7 miles; I walked there, had a salad in the cafe at the library, and walked back by a less direct route. Feeling rather pleased.
Tags: forgotten futures, kipling, the struggle for empire

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