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    Adra Dietz

    What Not
    by Rose Macaulay, Sarah Lonsdale

    What Not | READ MORE

    • Release date: March 25, 2019
    • Genres: classics, fiction, novels, dystopia
    • Publisher: Handheld Press
    • Format: paperback, 195 pages
    • ISBN: 9781912766031 (1912766035)
    • Language: english
    • Author: Rose Macaulay, Sarah Lonsdale

    About The Book

    What Not is Rose Macaulay’s speculative novel of post-First World War eugenics and newspaper manipulation that influenced Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, fourteen years later.

    Published in 1918, What Not was hastily withdrawn due to a number of potentially libellous pages, and was reissued in 1919, but had lost its momentum. Now republished for the first time with the suppressed pages reinstated, What Not is a lost science fiction classic of feminist protest at social engineering, and rage at media manipulation.

    Kitty Grammont and Nicholas Chester are in love. Kitty is certified as an A for breeding purposes, but politically ambitious Chester has been uncertificated, and may not marry. Kitty wields power as a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Brains, which makes these classifications, but does not have the freedom to marry who she wants. They ignore the restrictions, and carry on a discreet affair. But it isn’t discreet enough for the media: the popular press, determined to smash the brutal regime of the Ministry of Brains, has found out about Kitty and Chester, and scents an opportunity for a scandalous exposure.

    Aldous Huxley was a frequent guest at Macaulay’s flat while she was writing What Not. His apparently ground-breaking novel Brave New World borrowed many of Macaulay’s ideas for Huxley’s own prophetic vision.

    The introduction is by Sarah Lonsdale, senior lecturer in journalism at City University London.

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