Peaches and Plumbs Booksellers

After London - Or Wild England


After London - Or Wild England


“Ghastly beings haunted the site of so many crimes, shapeless monsters, hovering by night, and weaving a fearful dance. Frequently they caught fire as it seemed, and burned as they flew or floated in the air.”

After London, a 19th-century science fiction novel by Richard Jefferies (1848-1887), the English writer and naturalist, depicts an England of the distant future in which most of humanity has either died from plague or other unnamed catastrophic events.

A poisonous swamp now covers the site of London.

This may be the earliest novel depicting a future Earth following some calamitous event. First published in 1885, After London is now regarded as one of the most important examples of “post-apocalyptic fiction”.

The first part, The Relapse into Barbarism, is the account by some future historian of the fall of civilization and its consequences.

The second part, Wild England, is an adventure tale set years later.

The book is not without its flaws—Jefferies was in uncharted waters here—but is redeemed by the quality of the writing, particularly his unnervingly prophetic descriptions of the post-apocalyptic city and countryside.

After London is remarkable because of its visionary audaciousness: as with H.G. Well's The Time Machine, Jeffries was not afraid to take the long view; and as with Well's predictions (aerial warfare, space travel, the atom bomb) Jefferies was amazingly prescient.

JOHN RICHARD JEFFERIES (1848 –1887) was an English nature writer, noted for his depiction of English rural life in essays, books of natural history, and novels. His childhood on a small Wiltshire farm had a great influence on him and provides the background to all his major works of fiction. The son of a Wiltshire farmer, he began his work as a reporter for the North Wiltshire Herald, and later found success through his articles written for the Pall Mall Gazette, a series of essays called The Gamekeeper at Home (1878), followed by three more collections which were first published in the Pall Mall Gazette and then in book form, including Wild Life in a Southern County and The Amateur Poacher, both appearing in 1879, and Round About a Great Estate in 1880.


Add To Cart