Doughty, Charles M

Tagged: Author

(1843-1926) UK explorer and author whose Travels in Arabia Deserta (1888) profoundly influenced T E Lawrence (1888-1935), among others. The increasingly difficult, archaic language of Doughty's later work, a series of book-length poems, as well as the austerity of their arguments, has kept them from as wide acclaim as his great work on Arabia, which was not only hypnotically written, but also deeply reliable as an anthropological and geographical dissection of a virtually unknown land. His later book-length poems are all fantastic in nature, and two of them are of some sf interest as perhaps the most arcane Future War tales ever told: The Cliffs (1909) features an airborne "Persanian" invasion of England, which is successfully repelled; in The Clouds (1912) a similar invasion is successful, and England occupied. Both poems are designed as warnings to complacent Britons, though it is hard to think that more than a few hundred readers ever came to terms with Doughty's deeply eccentric though formidable style. [JC]

Charles Montagu Doughty

born Leiston, Suffolk: 19 August 1843

died Sissinghurst, Kent: 20 January 1926

works

  • The Dawn in Britain (London: Duckworth and Co, 1906/1907) [poem: published in six volumes: hb/]
  • Adam Cast Forth (London: Duckworth and Co, 1908) [poem: an apparent subtitle, (Sacred Drama in Five Songs), appears on half-title but not on the title page proper: hb/]
  • The Cliffs (London: Duckworth and Co, 1909) [poem: hb/]
  • The Clouds (London: Duckworth and Co, 1912) [poem: hb/]
  • The Titans (London: Duckworth and Co, 1916) [poem: hb/]
  • Mansoul: (Or, the Riddle of the World) (London: Selwyn & Blound, 1920) [poem: hb/]

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