Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvelous Machines Below the Earth's Surface

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Da Capo Press, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 303 pages
20 Reviews
Beliefs in mysterious underworlds are as old as humanity. But the idea that the earth has a hollow interior was first proposed as a scientific theory in 1691 by Sir Edmond Halley (of comet fame), who also suggested that there might be life down there as well. Hollow Earth traces the many surprising, marvelous, and just plain weird permutations his ideas have taken over the centuries. Both Edgar Allan Poe and (more famously) Jules Verne picked up the torch in the nineteenth century, the latter with his science fiction epic A Journey to the Center of the Earth. The notion of a hollow earth even inspired a religion at the turn of the twentieth century-Koreshanity, which held not only that the earth was hollow, but also that we’re all living on the inside. Utopian novels and adventures abounded at this same time, including L. Frank Baum’s hollow earth addition to the Oz series and Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Pellucidar books chronicling a stone-age hollow earth. In the 1940s an enterprising science-fiction magazine editor convinced people that the true origins of flying saucers lay within the hollow earth, relics of an advanced alien civilization. And there are still devout hollow earthers today, some of whom claim there is a New Age utopia lurking beneath the earth’s surface, with at least one entrance near Mt. Shasta in California. Hollow Earth travels through centuries and cultures, exploring how each era’s relationship to the idea of a hollow earth mirrored its hopes, fears, and values. Illustrated with everything from seventeenth-century maps to 1950s pulp art to movie posters and more, Hollow Earth is for anyone interested in the history of strange ideas that just won’t go away.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

An overview of some of the many theories about the earth being hollow, from Edmond Halley to John Cleves Symmes through to some of the current silliness bandied about on the internet. But largely a ... Read full review

Review: Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvelous Machines Below the Earth's Surface

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

[my review from the September 2006 issue of FATE magazine] Last month, FATE featured a reprinted article on the Koreshans of Estero, Florida, an early-20th-century cult distinguished mainly by their ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
9
Symmes Holes
39
Polar Gothic Reynolds and Poe
87
Jules Verne A Journey to the Center of Geology
109
Cyrus Teed and Koreshanity
143
Hollow Utopias Romances and a Little Kiddie Lit
187
Edgar Rice Burroughs at the Earths Core
241
The Hollow Earth Lives Evil Nazis Flying Saucers Superman New Age Utopias
267
Bibliography
290
Copyright

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Page 292 - LIFE and ADVENTURES OF PETER WILKINS, A Cornish Man : Relating particularly, His Shipwreck near the South Pole ; his wonderful Passage thro' a subterraneous Cavern into a kind of new World ^ his there meeting with a Gawry or flying woman, whose Life he preserv'd, and afterwards married her; his extraordinary Conveyance to the Country of Glums and Gawrys, or Men and Women that fly. Likewise a Description of this strange Country, with the Laws, Customs, and Manners of its Inhabitants, and the Author's...

About the author (2006)

David Standish is the author of The Art of Money and has written for Smithsonian, Audubon, Esquire, Outside, Travel & Leisure, Playboy, and Chicago magazine. He lives in Chicago.

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