1st Edition

Nineteenth Century Science Fiction

Edited By David Seed
    639 Pages
    by Routledge

    These volumes presents a selection from the American and British fiction of the nineteenth century which was evolving into what we now know as science fiction. Taking Frankenstein as its formative work, it assembles stories and excerpts from narratives exploring the complex impact of new technologies like the telegraph and later the cinema, or new scientific practices like mesmerism (hypnotism) and microscopy. The selected authors range from those famous within the realist tradition like George Eliot and Mark Twain to scientists like the physician Silas Weir Mitchell and the inventor Thomas Edison. They repeatedly destabilize their narratives so that some come to resemble scientific records and frequently leave their endings unresolved, encouraging the reader to speculate about their subjects, which include extensions to the senses, new inventions, and challenges to individual autonomy. Many focus on experiments but might combine scientific enquiry with the supernatural, producing hybrid narratives as a result which are difficult to classify.

    Nineteenth Century Science Fiction

    Edited by David Seed

    Volume 1: Experiments, Inventions, and Case Studies



    1. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (excerpt) (1818)

    2. Mary Shelley, ‘Roger Dodsworth: The Reanimated Englishman’ (1863).

    3. John Trotter, Travels in Phrenologasto (excerpt) (1825).

    4. Robert Macnish, ‘The Metempsychosis’ (1826).

    5. Jane Webb, The Mummy! (excerpt) (1827).

    6. Richard Adams Locke, ‘Great Astronomical Discoveries Lately Made by Sir John Herschel … at the Cape of Good Hope’ (excerpts) (1835).

    7. Thomas Medwin, ‘The New Frankenstein’ (1838).

    8. Isabella F. Romer, Sturmer: A Tale of Mesmerism (excerpt) (1841).

    9. Nathaniel Hawthorne, ‘The Artist of the Beautiful’ (1844).

    10. Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar’ (1845).

    11. Fitz-James O’Brien, ‘The Diamond Lens,’ (1858).

    12. George Eliot, ‘The Lifted Veil’ (1859).

    13. Edward Bulwer Lytton, A Strange Story (excerpts) (1862).

    14. Silas Weir Mitchell, ‘The Case of George Dedlow’ (1866).

    15. Edward S. Ellis, The Steam Man of the Prairies (excerpts) (1868).

    16. William Henry Rhodes, ‘The Case of Summerfield’ (1871).

    17. Florence McLandburgh, ‘The Automaton Ear’ (1873).

    18. Frances Power Cobbe, The Age of Science (excerpts) (1877).

    19. Fredrick B. Perkins, ‘The Man-Ufactory’ (1877).

    20. Julian Hawthorne, ‘An Automatic Enigma’ (1878).

    21. Edward Page Mitchell, ‘The Ablest Man in the World’ (1879).





    Volume 2: Experiments, Inventions, and Case Studies


    22. Robert Duncan Milne, ‘The Palaeoscopic Camera’ (1881).

    23. Grant Allen, ‘The Child of the Phalanstery’ (1884).

    24. Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland (excerpts, 1884).

    25. Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Great Keinplatz Experiment’ (1885).

    26. R.L. Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (excerpt) (1886).

    27. William Delisle Hay, Blood: A Tragic Tale (excerpt) (1888).

    28. Edward Bellamy, ‘With the Eyes Shut’ (1889).

    29. J. Maclaren Cobban, The Master of His Fate (excerpt) (1890).

    30. Frederic Jesup Stimson, ‘Dr. Materialismus’ (1890).

    31. Robert Cromie, The Crack of Doom (excerpts) (1895).

    32. Alice W. Fuller, ‘A Wife Manufactured to Order’ (1895).

    33. Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, The Professor’s Experiment (excerpts) (1895).

    34. Charles Howard Hinton, ‘Stella’ (excerpt, 1895)

    35. H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau (excerpts) (1896).

    36. C.H.T. Crosthwaite, ‘Roentgen’s Curse’ (1896).

    37. George Parsons Lathrop and Thomas Edison, ‘In the Deep of Time’ (excerpts) (1896-7).

    38. L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace, ‘The Star-Shaped Marks’ (1898) 

    39. Mark Twain, ‘From the London Times of 1904’ (1898).

    40. Ambrose Bierce, ‘Moxon’s Master’ (1899).

    41. Frank R. Stockton, ‘My Translatophone’ (1900).






    David Seed holds a chair in the English Department of Liverpool University. He has written and edited a number of works on Science Fiction including Anticipations: Essays on Early Science Fiction and its Precursors (1995) and a critical edition of Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1871 novel The Coming Race. He is currently co-editor of Liverpool University Press’s international Science Fiction Texts and Studies series.