Swastika Night

Dark and prescient, anti-fascist dystopian novel with some interesting parallels to Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was published more than a decade later. Also considered an important work of feminist literature, depicting the utter subjugation of women as nothing above breeders, kept in cages like cattle or dogs, a comparison made throughout the novel. To give birth to a female is considered shameful, and yet ironically, the fecundity of this fascist, male-centric future is ultimately threatened by a shrinking number of female births.

Murray Constantine was the pseudonym for Katharine Burdekin, a British speculative fiction novelist, who published a number of later works under this pseudonymn. The true identity of Constantine was not learned until the mid-1980s when American scholar, Daphne Patai discovered it while researching utopian and dystopian fiction. This ultimately led to the rediscovery of Swastika Night and it was republished by the Feminist Press. A landmark work of dystopian fiction. See Wessells 26.

This copy is inscribed by the author on the front flyleaf: "To John Hampson / from 'Murray Constantine' / July 1937." Hampson was an author and literary critic best known for his novel, Saturday Night at the Greyhound, a suprise bestseller published by the Hogarth Press in 1931. Hampson's earlier first novel was rejected because of its too candid homosexual content. Apparently, Hampson made several visits to Berlin in the 1930s and covered the Reichstag fire for the New English Weekly [ODNB]. Also laid in is a clipped review, quite possibly by Hampson but not identified as such. A lovely association copy.

Near fine in nearly fine dj with minor darkening. Copies in dust-jacket are extremely rare.

Item#: 10571
Author: ,
Binding: Hardcover
Publisher: London: Gollancz, 1937.
Edition: First Edition, First Printing