The Coming Race

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Overview

Climbing through the recesses of a mine, an English man falls into a deep chasm and finds himself suddenly trapped in a subterranean world inhabited by an ancient race of advanced beings. From Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth to Chris Marker’s La Jetée, subterranean worlds have been a source of both fascination and fear for the literary imagination and The Coming Race is no exception. An evolutionary fantasy first published in 1871, the story draws upon ideas of Darwinism to describe a near future...
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Overview

Climbing through the recesses of a mine, an English man falls into a deep chasm and finds himself suddenly trapped in a subterranean world inhabited by an ancient race of advanced beings. From Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth to Chris Marker’s La Jetée, subterranean worlds have been a source of both fascination and fear for the literary imagination and The Coming Race is no exception. An evolutionary fantasy first published in 1871, the story draws upon ideas of Darwinism to describe a near future world characterized by female dominance, physical perfection, and vast technological progress. The novel was extremely popular in its time and is now considered a seminal science fiction text by contemporary scholars. This Wesleyan edition includes scholarly notes and an introduction that places the work in an intellectual and literary context, and describes the author’s interest in the occult.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“First published in 1871, The Coming Race represents a curious hybrid. Its premise is unflinchingly futuristic: the inevitable displacement of today’s humanity by a more evolved 'race.' But the story unfolds in perhaps the last unexplored place on earth—the 'hollow' interior of the planet…”—Gerald Jonas, The New York Times Book Review

“Seed offers a comprehensive and useful critical edition of Bulwer-Lytton’s early science fiction novel … [that] illuminates the meaning and importance of this work to both writers who were Bulwer-Lytton’s contemporaries and to science fiction and fantasy writers who followed him. Summing up: Highly recommended.”—P.J. Kurtz, Choice

Publishers Weekly
Edward Bulwer-Lytton's seminal 1871 SF novel, The Coming Race, edited with an introduction by British scholar David Seed, recounts the adventures of an Englishman in an underground world inhabited by a race of advanced beings. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Christine Ferguson University of Glasgow
"Peter Sinnema's excellent new edition of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's The Coming Race restores to prominence a lost classic of Victorian science fiction, one whose contemporaries ranked it alongside Thomas More's Utopia and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. The edition's masterful introduction and rich set of accompanying appendices set the novel within a remarkably diverse range of Victorian social, scientific, and political contexts, including those of first-wave feminism, Darwinism, electro-magnetic theory, and early science and adventure fiction. Particularly useful is the introduction's discussion of the fascinating genre of hollow earth fiction, one whose scholarly rediscovery this new edition is sure to precipitate. All in all, The Coming Race is a wonderful addition to the Broadview series which will be of interest to a wide range of scholars, students, and general aficionados of Utopian fiction."
Bruce Clarke Texas Tech University
"Addressing a wide spectrum of Victorian cultural and intellectual contexts, Sinnema's edition presents an especially sophisticated, rich, and current introduction to the allegorical complexities and literary impact of, and critical debates over, Bulwer-Lytton's seminal science-fiction classic. With a well-annotated text and judicious and efficient selection of period documents, ranging from the physics of Faraday and Maxwell and the evolutionary thought of Darwin and Huxley to the sexual politics of Ruskin and Mill, this Broadview edition nicely equips the contemporary student or general reader of The Coming Race for critical comprehension."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819567352
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 3/5/2007
  • Series: Early Classics of Science Fiction
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 957,561
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Author of over 100 other works, SIR EDWARD BULWER-LYTTON was a prolific writer and remains, even today, a well-recognized figure in 19th century British literature. DAVID SEED is a prominent British scholar of early science fiction. He holds a personal chair in American Literature at the University of Liverpool and is the author of American Science Fiction and the Cold War.
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Table of Contents

Note on the Text
Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Coming Race
Appendix: Bulwer-Lytton's First Underworld
Notes
Bibliography
Edward Bulwer-Lytton: A Biography
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Customer Reviews

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