Green, A Lincoln

Tagged: Author

(?   -?   ) UK author who has not been identified (a name like Lincoln Green may well be pseudonymous) and whose literary activity seems to have been restricted to one year, beginning with "The Captivity of the Professor" (February 1901 Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine), in which an entomologist is captured by a species of evolved ants (see Evolution), forced to entertain his captors to avoid death, becomes a slave (along with other animals), fails in a shouting match against a howler monkey (see Games and Sports), and is eventually released. Green's sf novel, The End of an Epoch: Being the Personal Narrative of Adam Godwin, the Survivor (1901), is presented as the written reminiscence of its protagonist, who abandons his fiancee (she then goes to the North Pole with her father). having become involved with a Mad Scientist fresh from India, who has manufactured a bacillus fatal to all but the elderly (see Medicine). Fortunately he inoculates Adam with the antitoxin before he is violently murdered; unfortunately he has been transporting the bacillus in jars, which are broken, releasing the deadly plague. After recovering from his own injuries, Adam engages on a Last Man search through London and elsewhere for signs of life, but finds no one, except for few surviving elders, who are dying of old age. Soon enough his fiancee and her family return from an expedition from the far North – the bacillus being ineffective at low temperatures – but the crew panics and Adam is able to inoculate only his love, whose name is Evelyn (see Adam and Eve). They will breed, averting the End of the World.

The resemblances between this novel and The Purple Cloud (1901) make it likely that The End of an Epoch was M P Shiel's target when he made charges of plagiarism against an unnamed text and author. But Green's novel differs significantly in many aspects; in particular, Adam exhibits no trace of the maniacal misogyny that characterizes Shiel's protagonist, nor is he a murderer. To explain the remaining extensive similarities, it seems not quite sufficient to evoke the troubled Zeitgeist of the era; positive identification of Lincoln Green might cast some light. [JC]

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