Jane Webb Loudon, 1807-1858: A Tale of the Nineteenth Century

“In the year 2161, England enjoyed peace and tranquility under the absolute dominion of a female sovereign.”

The year 2161 AD, mind.  And, for the record, the queen was named Claudia.

It’s a provocative opening for a book published in 1823, that is to say, just 13 years after the arrival of Pride and Prejudice,  and nine after Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). Not a lot of science fiction being done at the time, and in this case by a woman, well….

The book is familiar chiefly to academics and monomaniacs, as the vast majority of out-of-fashion novels tend to be, and of only moderate interest to casual readers.  Ms Webb’s own life story, however,  is quite interesting.  Continue reading