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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Edwin L. Arnold

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Edwin L. Arnold

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Full Name: Edwin Lester Linden Arnold
Born: May 14, 1857
Swanscombe, Kent, England, UK
Died: March 1, 1936
Occupation: Writer, Journalist
Nationality: English


Edwin Lester Linden Arnold (1857 - 1 March 1935) was an English author. Most of his works were issued under his working name of Edwin Lester Arnold.

Arnold was born in Swanscombe, Kent, as son of Sir Edwin Arnold. Most of his childhood was spent in India, but he returned to England to study agriculture and ornithology. He became a journalist in 1883, and published his first books A Summer Holiday In Scandinavia (1877) and Bird Life In England (1887) before writing his first novel The Wonderful Adventures of Phra the Phoenician, the adventures of a warrior who goes in and out of an unexplained state of suspended animation in order to be a witness to invasions or attempted invasions of England. Phra was first published in 24 parts in the prestigious Illustrated London News, and later published in book form in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Arnold later wrote other novels, including Rutherford the Twice-Born (1892) and Lepidus the Centurion: A Roman of Today (1901), both of which flopped commercially. In 1905 Arnold published his best known novel, Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation, also known as Gulliver of Mars, (1905). Its initial reception was lukewarm, leading Arnold to stop writing fiction altogether.

Arnold's Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation is considered important to 20th century science fiction literature, in that it may have inspired the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom series, which was written six years later. Indeed, both Gullivar and Burroughs's character John Carter, first seen in A Princess of Mars (1917), are Southern United States soldiers who arrive on Mars and have numerous adventures, including falling in love with a Martian princess. The character of Carter, however, has more in common with Arnold's earlier creation, Phra. Critics would say that Arnold's Martian adventure was not as well written, and the fact that Gullivar doesn't quite defeat his enemies or get the girl in the end helps explain why his novel not as popular as Burroughs', which was followed by ten sequels.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Forgotten Fantasy

 11. (1890)

 Frontiers of Imagination

 27. (1905)