Looking Backward 2000-1887


Though Bellamy tended to stress the independence of his work, Looking Backward shares relationships and resemblances with several earlier works — most notably the anonymous The Great Romance (1881), John Macnie's The Diothas (1883),[5] Laurence Gronlund's The Co-operative Commonwealth (1884), and August Bebel's Woman in the Past, Present, and Future (1886).[6] For example, in The True Author of Looking Backward (1890) J.B. Shipley argued that Bellamy's novel was a repeat of Bebel's arguments, whilst literary critic R. L. Shurter went so far as to argue that "Looking Backward is actually a fictionalized version of The Co-operative Commonwealth and little more".[7] However, Bellamy's book also bears resemblances to the early socialist theorists or 'utopian socialists' Etienne Cabet, Charles Fourier, Robert Owen and Henri Saint-Simon, as well as to the 'Associationism' of Albert Brisbane whom Bellamy had met in the 1870s.[8]

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