New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the Future

New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the Future- Cover

Corbett’s 1889 novel envisions a feminist utopian society, of which the unnamed protagonist--a 19th century female journalist--dreams after reading anti-suffrage commentary. The novel reflects common conventions of the feminist utopian novel, including racial and physical eugenics and the elimination of poverty. Individuals who cannot conform to community regulations--including Mr. Fitz-Musicus, the protagonist’s unlikely travelling companion--are judged insane. The novel’s feminist agenda is relatively tame in comparison to other utopian texts. Men still live and work in New Amazonia but cannot participate in politics, including voting. In addition to the conspicuous commentary regarding women in politics, the novel comments on Victorian international relations. English leaders neglect their citizens and colonies to appease allies, wiping out much of England’s male population and the entirety of Ireland, which, coincidentally, allows for Ireland’s resettlement as New Amazonia. Corbett, a well-known feminist, both offers her vision of a radically feminist future and subtly demonstrates her contemporary political savvy.

Lehigh University Catalog Record:

Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett (1846-1930)
New Amazonia: A Foretaste of the Future
Seattle: Aqueduct Press, 2014.