Swastika Night is a futuristic novel by Katharine Burdekin, writing under the pseudonym Murray Constantine, first published in 1937. This novel projects a brutal, totally male-controlled fascist world. The women are breeders, and the men have abolished all history, education, and art.
The protagonist is an Englishman named Alfred on a German pilgrimage. In Europe, the English are loathed because they were the last opponents of Nazi Germany in the war. Per official history, Hitler is a tall, blond god whopersonallywon the war. Alfred is astounded when shown a secret, historic photograph depicting Hitler and a girl before a crowd. He is shocked that Hitler was a small man with dark hair and a paunch. And his discovery may mean his death...
Burdekin's novel explores the connection between gender and political power and anticipates modern feminist science fiction.
Readers will be reminded of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's HERLAND and note the sharp contrast between the woman-centered world of her land and the womanless one of SWASTIKA NIGHT.
Katharine Burdekin (1896-1963) wrote under the name Murray Constantine, and published more than ten novels before her death. Her dystopian novel SWASTIKA NIGHT (1937) was reissued by the Feminist Press in 1985, and by Gollancz (SF Masterworks) in 2016.
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