New Amazonia

“Corrupt, Degraded, Rotten to the core is British Civilisation, and yet we find women who ought to know better, actually pretending that they are perfectly contented with the existing order of things,” declares the narrator of New Amazonia. Raging against an antifeminist statement signed by “ladies” opposing the cause of women’s suffrage, a writer falls asleep in 1889 and wakens, in company with a hashish-smoking “masher,” in a future world run by women. New Amazonia tells the story of how this future world came to be and reveals its shiny, futuristic marvels as well as its government-administered horrors.

“When Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett sat down in the late 1880s to imagine a world 500 years hence, she can little have imagined that her words would be pored over in another century, on another continent, in a community gathered around the kinds of imaginative engagement with gender that she was pioneering. L. Timmel Duchamp has described feminist science fiction as a great conversation”; Corbett’s speculations about New Amazonia are part of that conversation’s prehistory, a fictional contribution to political debates with which the writer was intensively engaged. The book you are holding is a piece of utopian fiction, but it is just as much a feminist rant—entertaining, educational, and more than a little over the top.”
—from the Introduction by Alexis Lothian

Elizabeth Burgoyne Corbett (1846-1930) was an outspoken advocate of women’s rights and a prolific writer of witty, readable popular stories and novels about the indignities and injustices women suffered in the late nineteenth century. Many of her stories and serials in newspapers were never reprinted in book form.

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