Hale, Edward Everett

Tagged: Author

(1822-1909) US author, contributing editor to The Atlantic Monthly, Unitarian preacher and abolitionist; he is best known today for The Man without a Country (December 1863 The Atlantic Monthly; 1865 chap), the title story of The Man without a Country and Other Tales (coll 1868). Sybaris and Other Homes (coll 1869) is of some sf interest, specifically for "My Visit to Sybaris: From the Rev Frederic Ingham's Papers" (July 1867 Atlantic Monthly), describing a Utopian colony of Sybarians uncovered on an Island off the coast of Italy (see Lost Race). A second utopian fiction, Ten Times One is Ten: The Possible Reformation: A Story in Nine Chapters (January-June 1870 Old and New; 1871), as by Captain Frederic Ingham, is constructed as representing, through a kind of bluestocking haunting of ten active men, the social benefits of applying the ideas of the dead Harry Wadsworth; it first appeared in Hale's own journal, which he founded to espouse the ideals embodied in the tale; Four and Five: A Story of a Lend-a-Hand Club: Ten Times One Series (1891) carries on the same uplifting regimen. Back to Back: A Story of Today (1878; exp vt How They Lived in Hampton: A Study of Practical Christianity Applied in the Manufacture of Woollens 1888) is a less gripping utopian speculation.

Of interest from his prolific output are "Crusoe in New York" (xxxx Frank Leslie's Illustrated Paper), an educational Robinsonade couched as a Parody of the original novel and set in Manhattan (see New York); and Hands Off (March 1881 Harper's New Monthly Magazine; 1895 chap), which interestingly places two time-travelling spirits in Biblical times, where as an experiment they construct an Alternate History in which the young Joseph escapes being sold into Egyptian Slavery, with disastrous results, including the Phoenician conquest of the Mediterranean. Of primary interest to sf readers are "The Brick Moon" (October-December 1869 The Atlantic Monthly) and its short sequel, "Life in the Brick Moon" (February 1870 The Atlantic Monthly), both being revised into one story in His Level Best and Other Stories (coll 1873), later reprinted in The Brick Moon and Other Stories (coll 1899), and published independently as The Brick Moon: From the Papers of Captain Frederic Ingham (1971 chap), the whole told within a loose Club Story frame under the aegis of Captain Ingham (who performs the same function in other Hale stories). This assemblage of story fragments and reminiscences comprises probably the first even remotely convincing attempt to describe an artificial Earth satellite or Space Station, along with its accidental launching into orbit and the attempts of those stranded upon it to survive. In The Brick Moon & Another Brick in the Moon (anth/coll 2014), Adam Roberts offers a kind of Sequel by Another Hand that spoofs, mildly, the implausibilities of the original. [JC]

see also: History of SF; Invention.

Edward Everett Hale

born Roxbury (i.e. Boston), Massachusetts: 3 April 1822

died Roxbury (i.e. Boston), Massachusetts: 10 June 1909



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