A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder (1888)
Drifting on a sailing boat off the Canary Islands, four British gentlemen take turns reading a manuscript that they find inside a copper cylinder discovered floating in the Atlantic Ocean. The manuscript recounts Adam More's adventures after being lost at sea during an Antarctic voyage in 1844 and his life with the Kosekin, a lost civilisation living at the South Pole. The values of the Kosekin are opposed to the civilized norm-they love death, abjection, and poverty. Their society may be well suited to their particular evolution, but it is profoundly disconcerting to the narrator, and it is radically contentious to the Victorian gentlemen who read and debate More's account.
This Broadview Edition of James De Mille's classic recreates the format of the posthumous 1888 Harper's Weekly serial, including 18 original illustrations by Gilbert Gaul. The appendices allow the novel to be seen in terms of other satirical and scientific romance, Antarctic exploration, and contemporary geology. The introduction and notes tap into recent scholarship to bring to life De Mille's genre innovations and his use of Orientalist and colonialist discourses.