As this blog has a focus on historical women who have not been properly acknowledged for their achievements or contributions, this recent article from The Guardian captured my interest:-
"A forgotten feminist dystopian novel, a story of eugenics and newspaper manipulation that is believed to have influenced Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, is coming back into print for the first time in a century, complete with pages that were suppressed in 1918." (Read article in full here.)
Rose Macaulay may not be as well-known today as she once was, and her arcane writing style can be dense and difficult for modern readers.
Still, if her themes did influence some of the most famous dystopian novels written by men, then it is good to know that she is now being given her due.
The Towers of Trebizond is considered her masterpiece but I have lost count of the number of times I have picked it up and then persevered to a certain point where it defeats me because I have lost patience with its privileged characters and/or their religious arguments. Clearly, I’m too much of a philistine to truly appreciate Macaulay - and thus hover around a B- in her A to C Ministry of Brains - but many others do appreciate and enjoy her work.
The new version of What Not has now been published by Handheld Press.