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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Austin Tappan Wright

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Austin Tappan Wright

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Full Name: Austin Tappan Wright
Born: August 20, 1883
Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
Died: September 18, 1931
Occupation: Legal Scholar, Author
Nationality: American


Austin Tappan Wright was an American legal scholar and author, best remembered for his major work of Utopian fiction, Islandia.

Although Wright's professional colleagues were aware he had literary interests outside his field and some anticipated he might eventually branch out into other areas of literature, these possibilities appeared precluded by his early death. During his lifetime he published just one work of fiction, the short story "1915?" in the Atlantic Monthly for April, 1915.

Few people outside Wright's own family knew he had long been working on an extensive Utopian fantasy about an imaginary country he called Islandia, with an elaborately worked-out history, culture and geography, comparable in scope to J. R. R. Tolkien's life-long writings of Middle-earth. In his papers he left a 2300-page manuscript of a novel exploring the country, with appendices including a glossary of the Islandian language, population tables, a historic peerage, and a gazetteer and history of each of its provinces. Another book-length manuscript purported to be a general history of the country.

After Wright's death his widow typed and edited the manuscript for publication, and following her own death in 1937 their daughter Sylvia further edited and cut the text; the novel Islandia, shorn of Wright's appendices, was finally published in 1942, along with a promotional pamphlet by Basil Davenport, An introduction to Islandia; its history, customs, laws, language, and geography, based on the original supplementary material.

Islandia became a cult classic and ultimately spawned three sequels by Mark Saxton.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Non Series Works