#10716 Meccania: The Super-State. Owen Gregory.
Owen Gregory

Meccania: The Super-State

Rare signed anti-fascist dystopian novel

Meccania: The Super-State by Owen Gregory stands as one of the earliest examples of anti-fascist dystopian literature, offering a vivid portrayal of a grim future set in 1970. The narrative unfolds through the keen observations of a Chinese traveler named Ming, who navigates a totalitarian society where every aspect of citizens' lives is stringently regulated by the state. This oppressive control manifests through relentless surveillance, the existence of concentration camps, eugenics-driven breeding programs, and a thoroughly mechanized society. First published in 1918, this significant novel serves as a chilling critique of the authoritarian tendencies emerging in Germany during that period, presenting a world where personal liberties are ruthlessly stripped away.

Signed and inscribed "from the author" on the half-title page.

The author Owen Gregory has long been thought to be a pseudonym of an unidentified English author, whose true identity has remained a mystery. However, circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that "Owen Gregory" was in fact "Edmund Sidney Pollock Haynes", commonly known as E.S.P. Haynes, a prominent figure in London's literary circles during the time Meccania was published in 1918. Renowned bibliographer, George Locke, speculated this connection after acquiring a copy of Meccania inscribed by Haynes. It seems fitting, since Haynes' known criticisms of burgeoning bureaucracy and the infringement of personal freedoms, as articulated in his 1916 work The Decline of Liberty in England, strongly echo the dystopian themes and societal structures explored in Meccania. In light of these considerations, while not definitive, the case for E.S.P. Haynes as the author behind "Owen Gregory" is strong.


Hardcover. First Edition. Octavo, red cloth stamped in black on front and spine. London: Methuen & Co., 1918. #10716.
Very good copy in rare dust jacket which is very good or better. Jacket is a bit short for the book, likely either trimmed or more likely miscut by publisher as this has been observed in other copies. Jacket is amazingly well-preserved with almost no wear except to spine and one internal tape repair.