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DescriptionRichard 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 ofVictorian 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 19th-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.
Edinburgh University Press
9 May 2017
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