The definitive edition of an important 20th-century disaster novel.
First published in 1927, Deluge is one of the most famous of the English catastrophe novels. Beautifully written and action packed—RKO Radio Pictures even filmed this story—the novel depicts a flood so severe that it destroys modern civilization, leaving the few survivors to adapt to the rigors of the natural world. Like other English writers responding to the trauma of World War I, Sydney Fowler Wright expresses a loathing of the worst aspects of industrialization. The flood, in his view, becomes an opportunity for the remaking of society. The protagonists soon realize that civilization and technology have divorced them from the knowledge and skills necessary for survival. Released from their over-reliance on social regulation, they struggle to overcome their own brutality to develop a new sense of community. For over 75 years readers have praised this book for its style and wisdom, and debated the meaning of its controversial ending. This Wesleyan edition is graced with an excellent introduction and annotations by leading science fiction scholar Brian Stableford.
"Stableford's edition presents a significant 20th-century text with a definitive frame of scholarship, and could serve as a linchpin for the study of British Fiction of the interwar years."~John Clute, co-author of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
"The real value of this edition lies in Brian Stableford's extensive and informed introduction and notes—he is among the most knowledgeable and meticulous scholars in the science fiction field."~Gary K. Wolfe, author of Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy