Last Men in London. W. Olaf Stapledon.
(Stapledon, W. Olaf)

Last Men in London.

London: Metuen & Co. Ltd. 1932. First edition, first issue. Told by the same “last man” who related the history of humanity’s future in Last and First Men, this work describes the last man’s exploration of the consciousness of present-day Englishman Paul. The advanced being experiences the world through Paul: his childhood, his service with an ambulance crew in the First World War, and his adult life as a schoolteacher. The semi-autobiographical nature of the novel creates a platform for Stapledon to expound on his own philosophies. After an English childhood very similar to Paul’s, Stapledon served in the First World War as a conscientious objector, becoming an ambulance driver and earning the Croix de Guerre for bravery. He earned his PhD in philosophy from the University of Liverpool, and then turned to fiction as a means of spreading his ideas to a larger audience. Though a supporter of the war effort in the Second World War, Stapledon never lost his passion for pacifism and justice, speaking in 1948 at the World Congress of Intellectuals for Peace in Wroclaw, Poland, attending the 1949 Conference for World Peace in New York City as the sole Briton granted a visa to do so, and becoming involved in the anti-apartheid movement in 1950. Last Men in London, though less acclaimed than Stapledon’s other works, best promotes his vision of peace through its honest description of the First World War and its satirical look at the modern world. In original first issue dust wrapper, which shows general wear to corners, edges, and spine, and discoloration to upper flap and spine. Book bound in blue cloth over boards with gilt lettering. Spine creased, upper board splayed, toning and bumps to extremities, scant foxing of first few pages of text block, else a near fine copy of a book scarce in this state. Item #27752

Price: $2,000.00

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