1st Edition

The To-day and To-morrow Reader Future Speculations from the 1920s and Early 1930s

Edited By Max Saunders Copyright 2025
    496 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The To-day and To-morrow book series (1923-31) was a unique publishing phenomenon – over 100 short, often brilliant, books choosing a particular subject, outlining its present state, and then speculating about its future. This Reader brings together some of the best work in the series, including eleven complete volumes and substantial extracts from ten more.

    To-day and To-morrow is one of the key documents of modernity. It contains some of the best writing of the twentieth century, and some of the most visionary predictions. The contributors were creative writers, scientists, inventors, philosophers, lawyers, doctors and teachers. Included here are Bertrand Russell, Vera Brittain, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Robert Graves and the scientists J. B. S. Haldane, J. D. Bernal, and Sir James Jeans. The topics range from emerging technologies such as the talkies, television, robotics and drones, to speculations about future technologies like test-tube babies, artificial wombs, cyborgs, genetic modification, hormone replacement therapy, space exploration, the internet, and the possibility of hive minds. The books consider how societies will respond to such developments; how the transformations will impact on lives, relationships, beliefs, politics.

    To-day and To-morrow brings new perspectives to the literature and culture of modernism and modernity for general readers, students and scholars. It sheds new light on twentieth-century literature, culture and society. It offers resources for teachers and students of creative writing – and everyone – facing the challenge of thinking about our future.



    Part I: Science and Technology

    Complete texts

    J. B. S. Haldane, Daedalus; or, Science and the Future (1923)

    Bertrand Russell, Icarus; or, the Future of Science (1924)

    A. M. Low, Wireless Possibilities (1924)

    L. L. Whyte, Archimedes; or, The Future of Physics (1927)

    J. D. Bernal, The World, the Flesh and the Devil: An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul (1929)


    From: H. S. Jennings, Prometheus; or, Biology and the Advancement of Man (1925)

    From: H. Stafford Hatfield, Automaton; or, the Future of the Mechanical Man (1928)

    From: J. H. Jeans, Eos; or, the Wider Aspects of Cosmogony (1928)


    Part II: Society, Politics, and Gender

    Complete texts

    Dora Russell, Hypatia; or, Woman and Knowledge (1925)

    Bertrand Russell, What I Believe (1925)

    Vera Brittain, Halcyon; or, The Future of Monogamy (1929)


    From: E. E Fournier d'Albe, Quo Vadimus? Glimpses of the Future (1925)

    From: S. Radhakrishnan, Kalki; or, the Future of Civilization (1929)

    From: M. Chaning Pearce, Chiron; or, the Education of a Citizen of the World (1931)

    From: R. de Pomerai, Aphrodite; or, the Future of Sexual Relationships (1931)


    Part III: Culture, Media and the Arts

    Complete texts

    Vernon Lee, Proteus; or, the Future of Intelligence (1925)

    Bonamy Dobrée, Timotheus; or, the Future of the Theatre (1925)

    John Rodker, The Future of Futurism (1926)


    From: Lionel R. McColvin, Euterpe; or, the Future of Art (1926)

    From: ‘John Carruthers’ (pseud. of J. Y. T. Greig), Scheherazade; or, the future of the English Novel (1927)

    From: Robert Graves, Lars Porsena; or, the future of swearing and improper language (1927)




    Max Saunders is Interdisciplinary Professor of Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Birmingham. His publications include 'Ford Madox Ford: A Dual Life, 2 vols (Oxford University Press, 1996), Self-Impression: Life-Writing, Autobiografiction and the Forms of Modern Literature (Oxford University Press, 2010), and Imagined Futures: Writing, Science and Modernity in the To-Day and To-Morrow Book Series, 1923-31 (Oxford University Press, 2019). He is also General Editor of the forthcoming The Complete Works of Ford Madox Ford with Oxford University Press.