Rathbone, Julian

Tagged: Author

(1935-2008) UK author – a great-nephew of the actor Basil Rathbone (1892-1967) – who concentrated almost exclusively on detective and historical fiction, but whose Trajectories (1998) is a movingly deracinated take on the UK of 2035, a Dystopia in which ethnic minorities are oppressed, travel restricted, and all media are under the control of central government (see Media Landscape). That this portrait turns out to be a "fictional" prophecy – written down in 1998 by a dying novelist – only emphasizes the sepulchral defeatedness of its telling. Two decades after its publication, Rathbone's failure even to mention the internet seems less significant than his anticipation of the failure of liberal Britain to cope with the challenges of the twenty-first century. [JC]

Julian Rathbone

born London: 10 February 1935

died Thorney Hill, Hampshire: 28 February 2008

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