Bellamy, Edward

Bellamy, Edward

(bĕl`əmē), 1850–98, American author, b. Chicopee Falls (now part of Chicopee), Mass. After being admitted to the bar he tried his hand at journalism and contributed short stories of genuine charm to various magazines. These were later collected as The Blind Man's World and Other Stories (1898). His novels—The Duke of Stockbridge (1879), Dr. Heindenhoff's Process (1880), and Miss Ludington's Sister (1884)—were followed by Looking Backward, 2000–1887 (1888), which overshadowed his other work and brought him fame. This utopian romance pictured the world in the year 2000 under a system of state socialism. Much of the book's appeal lies in its unpretentious style and its vivid picture of the imagined society. The work sold over a million copies in the next few years and resulted in the formation of "Nationalist" clubs throughout the nation and the founding of the Nationalist monthly (1888–91). Bellamy himself founded and edited the New Nation (1891–94), a weekly. Equality, a sequel to Looking Backward, appeared in 1897.

Bibliography

See biography by S. E. Bowman (1958, repr. 1979); J. L. Thomas, Alternative America (1983); D. Patai, ed., Looking Backward, 1988–1888 (1988).

Bellamy, Edward

 

Born Mar. 26, 1850, in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts; died there May 22, 1898. American writer. Son of a clergyman. A lawyer by education.

In the historical novel The Duke of Stockbridge (1879; separate edition, 1901), Bellamy described the revolt of the masses in 1786 as a result of economic inequality. The Utopian novel Looking Backward (1888; Russian translation, In the Year 2000, 1889) brought Bellamy world fame. In this novel he depicted a socialist society, which was achieved through a process of peaceful evolution, as a system of universal equality. Reformist and technocratic illusions are characteristic of this work. In the USA the novel caused the rise of Bellamy Clubs that strove to realize the writer’s plans. During the decline of this movement, Bellamy wrote the book Equality (1897; Russian translation, 1907), in which he developed and made more precise the ideas in his novel.

REFERENCES

Ianzhul, I. V poiskakh luchshego budushchego, 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1908.
Krupskaia, N. K. Pedagogicheskie sochineniia, vol. 4. Moscow, 1959. Pages 410–11.
Morton, A. Angliiskaia utopiia. Moscow, 1956.
Parrington, V. L. Osnovnye techeniia amerikanskoi mysli, vol. 3. Moscow, 1963. Pages 375–90.
Bowman, S. E. E. Bellamy Abroad: An American Prophet’s Influence. New York, 1962.

B. A. GILENSON

Bellamy, Edward

(1850–98) writer; born in Chicopee Falls, Mass. He studied law, then turned to journalism, founding the Springfield (Mass.) Daily News in 1880. He also tried his hand at fiction, but he had become increasingly absorbed in contemporary social issues. In 1888 he published a utopian romance, Looking Backward: 2000–1887, and its million-copy sales enabled him to devote the ensuing years to refining his notions of state capitalism. The Nationalist Party was established to promote his ideas; he founded The New Nation (1891), a journal; and he further expounded his ideas in Equality (1897). He died prematurely of tuberculosis.
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