A World of Women

From Radium Age

A World of Women

By J. D. Beresford

Introduction by Astra Taylor

When a plague wipes out most of the world's male population and civilization crumbles, women struggle to build an agrarian community in the English countryside.

Overview

Author(s)

Praise

Summary

When a plague wipes out most of the world's male population and civilization crumbles, women struggle to build an agrarian community in the English countryside.

Imagine a plague that brings society to a standstill by killing off most of the men on Earth. The few men who survive descend into lechery and atavism. Meanwhile, a group of women (accompanied by one virtuous male survivor) leave the wreckage of London to start fresh, establishing a communally run agrarian outpost. But their sexist society hasn't permitted most of them to learn any useful skills—will the commune survive their first winter? This is the bleak world imagined in 1913 by English writer J. D. Beresford—one that has particular resonance for the planet's residents in the 2020s. This edition of A World of Women offers twenty-first-century readers a new look at a neglected classic.

Beresford introduces us to the solidly bourgeois, prim and proper Gosling family. As once-bustling London shuts down—Parliament closes, factories grind to a halt, nature reclaims stone and steel—the paterfamilias Mr. Gosling adopts a life of libertinism while his daughters in the countryside struggle to achieve a radically transformed and improved egalitarian and feminist future.

Astra Taylor is director of the philosophical documentaries Zizek! (2005), Examined Life (2008), and What Is Democracy? (2018). She is author of the American Book Award winner The People's Platform (2014) and Democracy May Not Exist, But We'll Miss It When It's Gone (2019), and coauthor of Can't Pay, Won't Pay: The Case for Economic Disobedience and Debt Abolition (2020). Her latest book is Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions (2021).

Paperback

$19.95 T ISBN: 9780262543354 340 pp. | 5.25 in x 7.875 in

Contributors

Astra Taylor.

Reviews

  • “A satire on the lives women lead nowadays and the appalling vanity of modern civilization.”

    The Publisher's Weekly (1913)

  • "Remarkably progressive”

    Financial Times

  • "This is a genuinely interesting SF novel with what was, for the period, particularly original thinking. It's a real asset to the series."

    Popular Science

Endorsements

  • A World of Women speaks as urgently to the world today as to that of 100 years ago in its insistence that crisis must also be recognized as opportunity—to change our society, not to restore it.”

    Sherryl Vint

    Professor and Chair, Department of English, University of California, Riverside

  • “There is considerable food for thought in the problems which arise when man disappears and woman becomes sole possessor.”

    The Publisher's Weekly (1913)

  • “Grimly humorous and tragic turn by turn.”

    The Nation (1913)

  • “It is a piece of the most vivid imaginative realism, as well as a challenge to our vaunted civilization.”

    The Living Age (1916)