Tuesday, March 11, 2014

After London or Wild England by Richard Jefferies

Free US/UK Kindle Classic
Dystopian books about a post-apocalyptic future also are a part of our past.  Follow that?  English writer, Richard Jefferies, wrote his entry in this genre, After London or Wild England, in 1885. (US Edition)  (UK Edition)

He was primarily a nature writer and this is apparent in his story:

"The old men say their fathers told them that soon after the fields were left to themselves a change began to be visible. It became green everywhere in the first spring, after London ended, so that all the country looked alike."

The book's form will not be particularly familiar to the readers of Young Adult trilogies.  It takes the form of a journal or history by someone living after the apocalypse and trying to explain the present and relate it to the past.

"Indeed, we have fuller knowledge of those extremely ancient times than of the people who immediately preceded us, and the Romans and the Greeks are more familiar to us than the men who rode in the iron chariots and mounted to the skies. The reason why so many arts and sciences were lost was because, as I have previously said, the most of those who were left in the country were ignorant, rude, and unlettered. They had seen the iron chariots, but did not understand the method of their construction, and could not hand down the knowledge they did not themselves possess."

Apparently this history is to serve as background for the adventure tale that comprises the second part of the book:

"What was there behind the immense and untraversed belt of forest which extended to the south, to the east, and west? Where did the great Lake end? Were the stories of the gold and silver mines of Devon and Cornwall true? And where were the iron mines, from which the ancients drew their stores of metal?"

Come along and find out!

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