While preparing material for an upcoming session of the Honours course “Print Culture in Britain, 1750-1900”, taught by Aileen Fyfe, our Rare Books Librarian, Elizabeth Henderson, pulled out a copy of this beautifully illustrated 19th century science fiction novel. I saw this sitting on her desk, had a flip through it, and had to share some of these images.
Le Vingtième siècle (Paris: G. Decaux, 1883), by Albert Robida, is a novel set in the mid-20th century in which new technology has changed French society. Some of the new technology includes the modern equivalents of televisions, telephones, web-cams, submarines, helicopters, &c. This novel was the first of three futuristic works, the other two were: La Guerre au vingtième siècle (1887) and Le Vingtième siècle. La vie électrique (1890). This first edition features cover art and illustrations by Robida, who was a prolific illustrator of science fiction novels and magazines in the 19th century.