Dail, C C

Tagged: Author

(1851-1902) US author and lawyer whose Willmoth sequence, beginning with Willmoth the Wanderer, Or The Man from Saturn (1890; rev vt Willmoth the Wanderer circa 1891), is a real oddity. Though told with no great skill, its narrative, purporting to be that of Willmoth the Saturnian as told towards the end of his several-million-year lifespan, is an eventful affair. Willmoth proceeds from Saturn to Venus (travel via Antigravity) and, late in the book, to a prehistoric Earth, where he becomes the Secret Master role of the primitive inhabitants, Uplifting them through selective breeding into Homo sapiens. The next volume, The Stone Giant: A Story of the Mammoth Cave (1898), moves into a Hollow Earth venue. It is presented as a translation by Willmoth of the memoirs of the prehistoric ruler Wymorian, an 8ft (2.4m) giant and founder of Atlantis, who had been given (by ancient descendants of Willmoth) an elixir of life. There is much talk about the ethics of the Immortality experiment, which on the whole is a failure – as, notoriously, was Atlantis. There are some tonal echoes of the titular model for the sequence, Charles Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer (1820 4vols), but beyond the issue of immortality they are not significant. [PN/JC]

Charles Curtis Dail

born Kentucky: 5 January 1851

died Kansas City, Kansas: 1902

works

series

Willmoth

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