Nearly half a century before George Orwell wrote 1984, G.K. Chesterton wrote The Napoleon of Notting Hill, a futurist fantasy also set in 1984. In this startling comic novel, Chesterton conjures up a London neighborhood that has becoime an independent city, fond of pageantry and traditional ways, isolated by high walls from the rest of the world. When its rights and autonomy are threatened by modernizing neighbors, war breaks out. It is a war fought not with astounding new weapons, but with swords and battle-axes. It is oddly prophetic, about large nations swallowing little nations, and local communities struggling to maintain their independence from outside control. It is also a great story, with wonderful dialogue and rich, humorous characters.
A comical futurist fantasy, first published in 1904, about a tradition-loving suburban London community of the 1980s at war with its modernizing neighbors. Chesterton’s splendid storytelling gifts and his sympathies for the plight of small nations trying to remain independent are strongly in evidence. 7 illustrations by W. Graham Robertson. New Introduction by Martin Gardner.