The Twentieth Century

Overview

The Twentieth Century—a unique blend of objets d’art and pulp fiction, science fiction and satire—was initially published in 1882 to great acclaim. Abundantly illustrated by the author, the story presents a panorama of society in the century to come. The story opens in the spring of 1952 as Hélène Colobry, niece of mega-banker Raphael Ponto, has just graduated from a private provincial school and needs to find a career. This highly original futuristic fantasy is a cross between “The Jetsons” and the novels of ...

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Overview

The Twentieth Century—a unique blend of objets d’art and pulp fiction, science fiction and satire—was initially published in 1882 to great acclaim. Abundantly illustrated by the author, the story presents a panorama of society in the century to come. The story opens in the spring of 1952 as Hélène Colobry, niece of mega-banker Raphael Ponto, has just graduated from a private provincial school and needs to find a career. This highly original futuristic fantasy is a cross between “The Jetsons” and the novels of Charles Dickens: it focuses on the daily life of a bourgeois family living in the technology-driven world of tomorrow—where trips to the market are made by aircar and where women argue politics with their husbands via videophone. The book opened new frontiers in speculative fiction with its superb graphics and its evocative text.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Although largely forgotten now, the French writer Albert Robida was a pioneer of science fiction. ...(H)is 1882 roman d'anticipation The Twentieth Century (is) a funny, sometimes cynical, frequently prophetic soap opera about a young woman who embarks upon a career search in the future worlds of 1952, gets caught up in a revolutionary struggle, and winds up having a brand-new continent named after her...."—Joshua Glenn, Boston Sunday Globe
Publishers Weekly
The Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction presents the first English-language edition of Albert Robida's The Twentieth Century, edited by Arthur B. Evans and translated from the French by Philippe Willems. First published in 1882, this futuristic fantasy opens in the year 1952, when the citizens of Paris can travel via "aerocab" or take in a live opera performance through a "telephonoscope." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819566805
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 3/17/2004
  • Series: Early Classics of Science Fiction
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 434
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

ALBERT ROBIDA (1848-1926) was a prolific and celebrated French artist and writer. His books include La Guerre au Vingtième Siècle (1887, War in the Twentieth Century) and La Vie Électrique (1892, The Electric Life). PHILIPPE WILLEMS is currently Assistant Professor of French at Northern Illinois University-DeKalb. ARTHUR B. EVANS is Professor of French in the Modern Languages Department at DePauw University and editor of Science Fiction Studies.

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Table of Contents

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Notes
Bibliography
Albert Robida: A Biography

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