Straitlaced Saturday — Vril

Saturday, January 26, 2019 

victorian novels 2

Welcome back to Straitlaced Saturday and a new feature here at Teagan’s Books. Victorian Novels will complement the era of my steampunk serial, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. 

The latest chapter of that serial (click here for chapter 27) mentioned another novel written within the time-frame of my story. 

Vril, the Power of the Coming Race

This week’s novel from the Victorian Era is Vril, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton.  It has been published as The Coming Race (as Bulwer-Lytton first anonymously published it in 1871), Vril the Power of the Coming Race, and simply Vril.

Victorian Science Fiction

Vril was science fiction, before anyone even gave the genre that name.  The straightlaced folks of the day might have described it as “science fictional” though it wouldn’t have been a genre name.  

vril
Vril, the Power of the Coming Race, by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Project Gutenburg Link to Vril, the Power of the Coming Race   FREE

(Link now repaired.)

Back in the day, many readers actually believed this story about a superior subterranean master race and the energy-form called “Vril.”  Or they at least believed parts of it to be true.  Plus these were well educated and respected people of the time, like Helena BlavatskyWilliam Scott-Elliot, and Rudolf Steiner.

Central character is a young traveler.  Inside a mine, he explores a natural chasm that has been exposed by an exploratory shaft.  The traveler finds his way into a subterranean world occupied by beings who seem to resemble angels. He befriends the first being he meets, who guides him around a city that is reminiscent of ancient Egyptian architecture.  He meets a love-interest, so I won’t spoil any of that, although that part is rather predictable.   

If all that sounds an awful lot like several movies that have been made over the decades, then just think how long ago this novel was written.

If you want the book and have trouble accessing it, let me know and I’ll send you a file.

 ***

wine glasses long table-346560_1920
Pixabay

Can you imagine being at a hidebound dinner party and mentioning this book as the topic of conversation?  What do you think would have been said in a Victorian pub if someone read a chapter to his chuckaboos?  Please leave a comment and start or join a conversation. 

Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers continues on Hidebound Hump Day.  Next time, the “three things” driving the story are from Mary J. McCoy-Dressel.  Tune in to see what Straitlaced, Queen Anne Style Architecture, and Harper’s Bazaar add to the story. 

My chuckaboos, I’ll be looking for you at the steampunk submarine port on Wednesday.  

***

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This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright ©  2019 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 


80 thoughts on “Straitlaced Saturday — Vril

    1. Hi Holley. I like Dickens okay, but wouldn’t want a class focusing on it. Too bad. That could have been an interesting class if they’d handled it differently. There was quite a bit of fantasy back then. Thanks for taking time to visit. Great big hug!

      Like

    1. Hi Rob — it’s great to see you. I agree — Project Gutenburg is fantastic. You never know what little you’ll find browsing that site. My tip for people who are unfamiliar with them is, if you have a title or author in mind, search that in Google and add Project Gutenburg to the search term. It can be quicker that way, if you already know what you hope to find.

      It would be an interesting research project to dig down and find out the earliest of that story-line (underground civilization + forbidden love + having to escape). But I’m focused on moving work. And now something is wrong with my car. With this snow storm on the way, the car will have to wait until next week — no point in letting it set in the garage untouched. They’re always so slow, with the weather as a valid excuse… So my hands are beyond full.
      I hope all is well in your world. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Rob, I hope to be on the road in a few weeks. Once I get on the road I will be away from blogging for about a week. Not sure how long, maybe a little more.
          Yes, we got lucky and the snow wasn’t as bad as they said (we’re on the outskirts of that polar vortex). Unfortunately they were right about the cold. It’s not as horrible as the folks farther north have, but still bad. Hugs on the wing.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Teagan, I think this would make excellent dinner party conversation! Absolutely fascinating to learn about this Victorian book, how many saw it as fact and it must have been revolutionary in its day! Our yearning for adventure, the outlandish is always there, and authors ready to write the books for our wild imaginations! This must have been a great book for the proofreaders at Project Gutenberg! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Annika, I agree. There are so many marvelous books at Project Gutenberg. I’ve always tried to give them a shout-out whenever I can. What a great resource for readers on a budget! But it’s also a place to find books that are outside the current “fads” and marketing trends, or just plain unusual.
      Huge thanks for visiting. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Georgina! Thanks so much. I’m happy you enjoyed your visit here.
      Yes, all my books are on Amazon. This should be a “universal link” to the first book in the series. (You might have to paste it into your browser…)
      relinks.me/B00HGSVA8A
      Happy weekend hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting to think about fiction being taken as nonfiction, especially with a brand new genre to some. I didn’t know about this book, but it does sound intriguing and familar, too. I always wonder what the author thought about that:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Denise. I’m so glad you could visit. Some say “fantastical” stories date back to the Sumerians 2150–2000 BCE. But the Victorians didn’t seem to have a genre name for it.
      I guess there will always be people who take fiction as fact… and sometimes the lines seem blurred as to which is which.
      You are right — it’s interesting to think about how much the author himself might have believed! That adds a whole new respective! Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I find it fascinating that as a society we’re sliding backwards…I wonder when we’ll hit the Victorian age? lol 😉
    Thanks for the tip on the book, dear Teagan, and you’re correct, sounds similar to movies, TV programs and books that came after it – hmmm, now I’m wondering if “My Name Is Earl” was originally going to be called, “My Name Is Vril”? Thanks for jump-starting our weekend, but you’ve got it all wrong, dear friend, Saturdays are never straight-laced when you’ve posted, we always have a heck of a time. 😉 lol
    Enough with my Saturday silliness and clear lack of sleep, thank you Teagan and Mary, you’ve started my weekend of right. 🙂
    Hope the rest of the weekend and the week ahead treat everyone kindly. 🙂
    Mega we need more chuckaboos in our lives hugs xoxoxoxoxoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, my chuckaboo, thanks for spending part of your busy weekend here.
      Yes, I’d like to go on a research-geek-bender and dig down to see if Vril was the first of this story-line, or if there were others even earlier. (Accidental discovery of an underground civilization + forbidden love + having to leave it all behind)
      Have a new week filled with wonder, my friend. Mega hugs right back.

      Like

    1. I think you’re right, John. Or at least (much as I do with religion and politics) only in a group that I already knew was like-minded.
      I know parties were held, and group meetings focused on spiritualism and attempts to contact the afterlife. But, as you say, it was probably kept among friends. Sort of “by invitation only.”
      Of course, Cornelis would bring up something like that at a dinner party — just to get a rise out of Felicity. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adele. I would imagine that is true. I remember documentaries mentioning their interest in various occult things, so this would have likely drawn their interest.
      That’s a thought provoking addition to the conversation.
      Huge thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love these otherworldly visionaries, don’t you? Since I deal myself in other worlds, I can imagine how the thought of another race sets tongues to wagging. Eyes roll, and snickers are muffled behind one’s napkin more often than not. A Victorian dinner party or hanging with friends in the year 2019, you can expect some blowback from such topics. The idea gives a new twist to an old movie favorite of mine, Tremors. Can you imagine if the new race we discovered tunneling through the desert could communicate with us in our language?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I haven’t thought about Tremors in a while, Catherine. That was a fun movie. Laughing one minute and then jumping on top of the furniture to get my feet off the floor then next.
      You’re right though, about tongues wagging and all the negative reactions. I guess the reactions wouldn’t really be any different today. Except maybe that somebody would tweet about it. 😉
      Heartfelt thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s so fascinating to me to think about a time before “science fiction” was a genre and the reaction those first books must have created. Hard to imagine that some people believed that there was a race of people living underground, but then again, people today believe all kinds of stuff that seems fantastical, including me. Ha ha. Fascinating post, Teagan. 🙂 These are fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha. Diana, I have the same thoughts, immediately followed by that self-evaluation.
      I believe it was Arthur C. Clarke who said “Magic’s just science that we don’t understand yet”… Although, I don’t know if that could apply to secret underground civilizations. I guess maybe the magic of keeping them hidden..
      I’m glad you are enjoying these. I wasn’t sure how well they’d be received. I’m trying to keep them kind of whimsical.
      Have a sublime Sunday, my friend. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, those kooky unpredictable Victorians. It’s good to hear that they enjoyed science fiction, even if they didn’t know it 😏

    It make you wonder how future historians will describe us.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Teagan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dan. Ha! I hope they don’t name us “The Zombie Era” — for a number of reasons. 😉 I hope you are having a relaxing weekend. I’ve been packing most of the day– and moving boxes around. The tally is sadly few boxes for the amount of work I’ve done… I need to visit your place and “have a beer.” Cheers and hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Every time I find a more “cost effective” way (and one that I’m actually able to do) to go, I end up unpacking and repacking what I’ve already done. Just when I thought that was all pinned down… The IKEA moving bags (that are so helpful to me) the first person (of this latest method) told me “Oh yes, you can use the bags, or anything else you want to pack with.”)… well she was not incorrect. She just failed to mention that there would be a big surcharge *per bag*… Back to boxes.
          I’m wearing out my little shiatsu massage thingamajig with my back.
          Now there’s something wrong with my car.
          The list just goes on.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to see you Priscilla. Ya know? Those supposedly hidebound, straightlaced Victorians just keep on surprising me. They were huge on “spiritualism.” While they only whispered about it, there was all manner of “erotica” (not just books), many technological innovations got started then…
      I guess another way to look at it is to question why we would be so surprised. But I am repeatedly surprised.
      Happy weekend hugs.

      Like

    1. Thanks Fraggle. I seem to have bad “link karma” this weekend. This wasn’t the only one… o_O Maybe I’ll treat myself to a second cup of coffee! LOL.
      I appreciate your patience. Thanks for taking time to spend part of your weekend here. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Olga. It’s actually interesting to compare all the versions, and consider the differences alongside the various eras in which they were wrote. Although I’ve forgotten the name, about 20 years ago I read one with this story-line that was written in either the 1940s or 50s, and it was fascinating to consider the authors views on many cultural things compared to the cultural landscape of the 1990s. And now (for the parts I remember) compare them both to this version from the Victorian era. I wonder if it was the first of this story-line? I haven’t tried to find out.
      Thanks for sharing this post. Hugs.

      Like

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