The Napoleon of Notting Hill

The Napoleon of Notting Hill is a novel written by G. K. Chesterton in 1904, set in a nearly unchanged London in 1984.

Although the novel is set in the future, it is, in effect, set in an alternative reality of Chesterton's own period, with no advances in technology or changes in the class system or attitudes. It postulates an impersonal government, not described in any detail, but apparently content to operate through a figurehead king, randomly chosen.

The Napoleon of Notting Hill
The Napoleon of Notting Hill - cover - Project Gutenberg eText 20058
cover of The Napoleon of Notting Hill
AuthorG. K. Chesterton
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
GenreSpeculative fiction, political satire
PublisherBodley Head (first edition)
Publication date
1904
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages300 pp
ISBN0-486-26551-X (recent edition)
OCLC22346022
823/.912 20
LC ClassPR4453.C4 N3 1991

Synopsis

The dreary succession of randomly selected Kings of England is broken up when Auberon Quin, who cares for nothing but a good joke, is chosen. To amuse himself, he institutes elaborate costumes for the provosts of the districts of London. All are bored by the King's antics except for one earnest young man who takes the cry for regional pride seriously – Adam Wayne, the eponymous Napoleon of Notting Hill.

Influence

Michael Collins, who led the fight for Irish independence from British Rule, is known to have admired the book.[1] There has been speculation that the setting of the book prompted the date chosen for the setting of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.[2] The novel is also quoted at the start of Neil Gaiman's novel Neverwhere.

Both the novel and Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday are referenced in the 2000 video game Deus Ex.

Notes

  1. ^ "This was the man who wrote a novel called The Napoleon of Notting Hill, which inspired Michael Collins to lead a movement for Irish Independence." Who is this guy and why haven’t I heard of him?, lecture by Dale Ahlquist, President, American Chesterton Society
  2. ^ McCrum, Robert (10 May 2009). "The masterpiece that killed George Orwell". London: The Observer. Retrieved 24 May 2009.

References

  • Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. p. 77.

External links

100 Classic Book Collection

100 Classic Book Collection, known in North America as 100 Classic Books, is an e-book collection developed by Genius Sonority and published by Nintendo, which was released for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console. First released in Europe in December 2008, it was later released in Australia in January 2009, and in North America in June 2010. The game includes one hundred public domain works of literature.

Genius Sonority had previously released a similar collection of books in Japan, under the title DS Bungaku Zenshuu, in October 2007. A smaller version of the collection consisting of 20 books, under the title Chotto DS Bungaku Zenshu: Sekai no Bungaku 20, was released in Japan as a downloadable DSiWare application in February 2009.

1904 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1904.

1904 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1904 in the United Kingdom.

1984 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1984.

20th century in literature

Literature of the 20th century refers to world literature produced during the 20th century (1901 to 2000).

In terms of the Euro-American tradition, the main periods are captured in the bipartite division, Modernist literature and Postmodern literature, flowering from roughly 1900 to 1940 and 1960 to 1990 respectively, divided, as a rule of thumb, by World War II. The somewhat malleable term of contemporary literature is usually applied with a post-1960 cutoff point.

Although these terms (modern, contemporary and postmodern) are most applicable to Western literary history, the rise of the globalization has allowed European literary ideas to spread into non-Western cultures fairly rapidly, so that Asian and African literatures can be included into these divisions with only minor qualifications. And in some ways, such as in Postcolonial literature, writers from non-Western cultures were on the forefront of literary development.

Technological advances during the 20th century allowed cheaper production of books, resulting in a significant rise in production of popular literature and trivial literature, comparable to the similar developments in music. The division of "popular literature" and "high literature" in the 20th century is by no means absolute, and various genres such as detectives or science fiction fluctuate between the two. Largely ignored by mainstream literary criticism for the most of the century, these genres developed their own establishments and critical awards; these include the Nebula Award (since 1965), the British Fantasy Award (since 1971) or the Mythopoeic Awards (since 1971).

Towards the end of the 20th century, electronic literature developed due to the development of hypertext and later the world wide web.

The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded annually throughout the century (with the exception of 1914, 1918, 1935 and 1940–1943), the first laureate (1901) being Sully Prudhomme. The New York Times Best Seller list has been published since 1942.

The best-selling literary works of the 20th century are estimated to be The Lord of the Rings (1954/55, 150 million copies), Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997, 120 million copies) and And Then There Were None (1939, 115 million copies).

The Lord of the Rings was also voted "book of the century" in various surveys.Perry Rhodan (1961 to present) proclaimed as the best-selling book series, with an estimated total of 1 billion copies sold.

Fire and Hemlock

Fire and Hemlock is a modern fantasy by British author Diana Wynne Jones based largely on the Scottish ballads "Tam Lin" and "Thomas the Rhymer."

It was first published in 1984 in the United States by Greenwillow Books then in 1985 in Great Britain by Methuen Children's Books It has been republished several times since then in paperback, by various publishers. In-print versions are published by Collins in Britain and by HarperTeen in the United States, both divisions of HarperCollins. Firebird, an imprint of Penguin Group, released a new paperback edition on 12 April 2012.Fire and Hemlock was a Phoenix Award Honor Book in 2005.

G. K.'s Weekly

G. K.'s Weekly was a British publication founded in 1925 (with its pilot edition surfacing in late 1924) by seminal writer G. K. Chesterton, continuing until his death in 1936. Its articles typically discussed topical cultural, political, and socio-economic issues yet the publication also ran poems, cartoons, and other such material that piqued Chesterton's interest. It contained much of his journalistic work done in the latter part of his life, and extracts from it were published as the book The Outline of Sanity. Precursor publications existed by the names of The Eye-Witness and The New Witness, the former being a weekly newspaper started by Hilaire Belloc in 1911, the latter Belloc took over from Cecil Chesterton, Gilbert's brother, who died in World War I: and a revamped version of G. K.'s Weekly continued some years after Chesterton's death by the name of The Weekly Review.As an alternative publication outside of the mainstream press of the time, G. K.'s Weekly never attained a particularly large readership, with its highest circulation being some eight thousand. However, it attracted significant support from several benefactors, which included notables such as the internationally famous conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Individuals whose work appeared in G. K.'s Weekly include public figures such as E. C. Bentley, Alfred Noyes, Ezra Pound, and George Bernard Shaw as well as (at the very beginning of his career) George Orwell. The relationship between the Distributist League and G. K.'s Weekly being a very close one, the publication advocated the philosophy of distributism in contrast to both the centre-right and centre-left attitudes of the time regarding socialism and industrialism.In terms of criticism, the publication has garnered condemnation for alleged anti-Semitic prejudice to be found in the views of Gilbert and Cecil Chesterton as well as of Hilaire Belloc. The controversy has involved sorting out the distinct differences in the opinions of the three men versus that of others within the publication, as essentially everyone featured had their own nuances to their viewpoints and would disagree among themselves. Critics have alleged that the writers often featured false stereotypes and made ignorant arguments about British capitalistic society while defenders have viewed the accusations as biased and misleading.

G. K. Chesterton

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936), was an English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic. Chesterton is often referred to as the "prince of paradox". Time magazine has observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out."Chesterton is well known for his fictional priest-detective Father Brown, and for his reasoned apologetics. Even some of those who disagree with him have recognised the wide appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an "orthodox" Christian, and came to identify this position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, his "friendly enemy", said of him, "He was a man of colossal genius." Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal John Henry Newman, and John Ruskin.

G. K. Chesterton bibliography

This is a list of books written by G. K. Chesterton.

List of fictional monarchs

This is a list of fictional monarchs – characters who appear in fiction as the monarch of a fictional or real country. They are listed by country, then according to the production or story in which they appeared.

List of fictional regiments of the British Army

The following is a list of British and Empire regiments that have appeared in various works of fiction. It also includes some which have been used as placeholders in more official works.

The list encompasses regiments of the British Army and also those of the pre-independence British Indian Army.

London in fiction

Many notable works of fiction are set in London, the capital city of England, and the United Kingdom.

Notting Hill

Notting Hill is a district in West London, located north of Kensington within the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. Notting Hill is known for being a cosmopolitan neighbourhood, hosting the annual Notting Hill Carnival and Portobello Road Market.In the early 21st century, Notting Hill has a reputation as an affluent and fashionable area known for attractive terraces of large Victorian townhouses and high-end shopping and restaurants (particularly around Westbourne Grove and Clarendon Cross). A Daily Telegraph article in 2004 used the phrase "the Notting Hill Set" to refer to a group of emerging Conservative politicians, such as David Cameron and George Osborne, who would become respectively Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer and were once based in Notting Hill.

For much of the 20th century, the large houses were subdivided into multi-occupancy rentals. Caribbean immigrants were drawn to the area in the 1950s, partly because of the cheap rents, but were exploited by slum landlords like Peter Rachman and also became the target of white Teddy Boys in the 1958 Notting Hill race riots.

From around 1870, Notting Hill had an association with artists.

Timeline of London

The following is a timeline of the history of London, the capital of England in the United Kingdom. The area covered is that of modern Greater London.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.