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Johns Hopkins University Press

Cacotopianism, the Paris Commune, and England's Anti-Communist Imaginary, 1870-1900

Author(s): Matthew Beaumont
Source: ELH, Vol. 73, No. 2 (Summer, 2006), pp. 465-487
Published by: Johns Hopkins University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30030020
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After the Paris Commune of 1871, the spectre of communism,

forgottenfor a generationafter 1848, once againstalkedEurope.The
democraticexperimentof the Communelastedonlytwo months,but it
had a disproportionateimpacton the politicalimaginaryof the European middle classes.In England,panickedreportsof its depredations
in the daily press helped to shape an anti-communistimaginarythat
was excitedlyreanimatedin the 1880s and 1890s, when the domestic
workingclassappearedto threateninsurrection.The distinctiveproduct
of this imaginary,I want to argue,was the fictional"cacotopia."
Coinedby JeremyBenthamin 1818,the word"cacotopia"
Greekkakosmeaning"bad")was used by JohnStuartMillin 1868,only
three years before the Commune, during a debate in parliamenton
the state of Ireland.Mill accusedthe Conservativegovernmentnot of
in theirpolicymaking-for that,he said,wouldbe too
being "Utopians"
complimentary-but of being "dys-topians,or cacotopians":"Whatis
commonlycalled Utopianis somethingtoo good to be practicable;but
whatthey appearto favouris too bad to be practicable."'In this article
I use the term "cacotopian"in a slightlydifferent sense, to specify a
particularmanifestationof the anti-utopian,or dystopian,imagination.
While the dominantcurrentof anti-utopianismin the late Victorian
period proceedsby satirizingthe utopianform itself, "cacotopianism"
is concernedless with repudiatingthe literaryexpressionof utopianism
than with combatingits practicalembodimentin the proletariat.
Cacotopiaimplies not simplythe opposite of utopiabut something
perniciousin its own right (as AnthonyBurgesssaid, it "soundsworse
than dystopia").2
It depicts the workingclass,in corpore,as dystopian.
So its grislyfascinationis with chthonicinsurrectionratherthan with
the corruptpower structuresof the putativesocialiststate. According
to KrishanKumar,the anti-utopiacan be understood"asan invention
ELH 73 (2006) 465-487 c 2006 by The Johns Hopkins University Press

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to combat socialism,in so far as socialismwas seen to be the fullest

and most sophisticatedexpressionof the modernworshipof science,
The cacotopiacan be understoodby
technologyand organization."3
contrastas an inventionto combatcommunism,insofaras communism
(so FriedrichEngels claimed)was seen to be the "veryopposite"of a
"respectable"middle-classmovement.4A fictionof socialcatastrophe,
cacotopianismportraysrevolutionas a sexualand politicalapocalypse.
I deploy the term "cacotopia"in an attempt to reproducethe sheer
pungencyof the form'santi-communistpolitics.
In novelsandfictionalpamphlets,up untilthe end of the century,the
fantasticimage of an "EnglishCommune,"which one correspondent
for the Timesrightlyregardedas "no sort of danger,"was nevertheless fostered.5The cacotopia,which mapped the menacingfigure of
an insurgentworkingclass onto the political geographyof London,
was an effect of the rise of organizedlaborduringthe so-calledGreat
Depressionas well as of the Communeitself. An imaginaryhistoryof
the present, in the form of a prospectivehistory,it reflected the intensifyingclassstruggleof the finaldecadesof the nineteenthcentury.
The 1880s and 1890s markedan importantmoment in the formation
of the English workingclass. As the New Unionism testified, it was
increasinglyorganizedand at least seemed alarminglyhomogeneous.
The emergingsocialistmovementpromisedto glue it together all the
more securely. It is no accident that Emile de Laveleye'ssurvey of
Le socialismecontemporain(1881)-which warnedthat "we may see
our capitalsravagedby dynamiteand petroleum in a more ruthless
and systematicmannerthan even that which Parisexperiencedat the
hands of the Commune"--was translatedinto English in the mid1880s.6Domestic anxietiesabout social conflictoxidizedthe residues
depositedin the Europeanpoliticalimaginationby the events in Paris
of the early 1870s.
In this article,I anatomizethe anti-communistor anti-insurrectionaryimaginationidentifiablein Englandafterthe Communeand show
how it shapedthe bodyof literarytextswhichI designate"cacotopian."
Its second section examinesthe cacotopia'sconditions of possibility
from the late 1860s and early 1870s,with referenceto seminalimaginaryhistoriesby George Chesney and SamuelBracebridgeHemyng.
Section three, on the ParisCommune and the crisis of metropolitan
experience,mapsthe characteristictopos of the cacotopia,sketchinga
numberof fictionalnarrativesfromthe 1880sand 1890sthatcontribute
to the gothicgeographyof a city hauntedby classconflict.Sectionfour
turns to the cacotopia'spropagandistfunctionand concludes that, in

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depictingrevolutionas a traumaticencounterwith the Real, the form

representsa surreptitiousutopianappealto its imaginedcommunity
of readers,an appeal for a new bourgeoisconsciousnesscentred on
the need for defence againstthe commonclass enemy. In conclusion,
I analyseWhenAll Men Starve,a strikingcacotopiapublishedin the
finalyears of the century.

"The last four or five years,"wrote James Presley,the directorof

the CheltenhamLibrary,in 1873, "havebeen remarkablyfruitfulin
worksof a Utopiancharacter."The cacotopia'semergence as a genre
or subgenrecoincidedwith the sudden resurgenceof utopianfiction
in the early 1870s. The year 1871 was in effect the foundingmoment
of turn-of-the-centuryutopian fiction. Edward Bulwer-Lytton'sThe
Coming Race was published on the first of May,the same day that
SamuelButlersubmittedthe manuscriptof Erewhon(1872) to Chapman and Hall. Coincidentally,this was also the date on which The
Battleof Dorking(1871), Colonel George Chesney'sfictionalaccount
of a Prussianinvasionof England,appearedin Blackwood'sMagazine.
Rapidlyreprintedto appeasethe swellingappetite of its middle-class
readership,this geopoliticalfantasylent credence to Presley'sclaim
that the turn to utopianfictionwas caused, in part, by "the new political influences resultingfrom the late Franco-Germanwar."'The
coy allusionto the ParisCommune,whichpressedhard
on the heels of the Prussiansiege of the French capital,occludesthe
scene of insurrectioneven as it manifestsan implicitawarenessof its
influence on the collective imagination.
In the second halfof the 1890s H. G. Wellsused TheTimeMachine
(1895) and other novels to questionthe naivelyoptimisticprophecies
of much earlyscience fiction.But the cacotopiasgrew out of a slightly
earlierclimateof pessimism.The firststirringsof a cacotopianimpulse
were responses to the "visionaryideas" taking hold of the working
class,bred in what LordSalisburycalled the "seethingimaginationsof
the foreign conspirators"who implementedthem in the Commune.8
The Timesreferredto "theUtopiawhich the Communeof Parishave
undertakento introduceinto the domainof practicalideas."9The momentarymaterializationof utopiain the spectre of Parisiansocialism
helps to explainthe traumaticimpact of the Commune. The Commune rupturedthe bourgeoisie'sfaith in progress.MatthewArnold's
diagnosis,that "the Parisconvulsion[was] an explosionof that fixed

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resolve of the workingclass to count for something and live, which

[was]destined to make itself so much felt in the coming time, and to
disturbso muchwhich dreamedit would last forever,"was a perspicacious one.'oThe reactionarypropagandathat proliferatedin England
from 1871 tried to stitch together that ruptureddream.
There was not the remotest chance of working-classrevolution
in Englandin the early 1870s, when the politics of the labor movement were largelydefined by the Liberals'agenda.We have to look
beyond the scant signs of socialistorganizationat the time in orderto
understandthe excessivereactionof the dominantclass. Its causes lie
in the fact that, from the ReformAct of 1867, the Liberaland Tory
partiesfoundthemselvescompelledto compete on the terrainof mass
politics.A recompositionof the politicalsettlementconsequentlytook
place, and a widespreadsense of insecurityattendedit. Forced in part
from below, as the unsettlingimpactof the riotsin Hyde Parkin 1866
implies, the Act was a very limited extensionof the franchise,largely
to skilledworkers.It embodieda dualstrategy:it attemptedto harness
the votingpower of a portionof the workingclass in orderto preserve
the statusquo;and it soughtto retardthe politicalgrowthof the labor
movement and forestallthe potential revolutionaryforce of the proletariat.But despite its preemptiveintention,it actuallycompounded
ruling-classsuspicionsof a link between suffrageand revolution.Even
Thomas Macaulayhad been againstdemocratization,on the grounds
that it "sooneror later"led to the destructionof "liberty,or civilizaThus the bourgeoisie'srelationshipwith the working
tion, or both.""1
class was acutelycontradictory.Pushed into closer proximitywith the
propertied class, the working class seemed more incomprehensible
and unknowable to its rulers than ever before, and this "alienation
from the people," in Georg Lukics's useful formulation, "constantly

change[d]into hostilitytowardsthe people."'2

Fear of foreigninvasionserved to reinforcethe middle class'sfear
of insurrection. As the Annual Register of 1871 put it in its report on

the Franco-Prussianwar:"Theforeign enemy pacified, Government

became aware that an enemy more formidable, because more fatal

to all patrioticbonds of sympathy,existed in the heart of Paris."'13

obtrudedinto middle-classconsciousnessduringthe Franco-Prussian
War, and became implacableas the first siege of Paris culminated
in the Commune. It is this mood that was caught by The Battle of
Dorking. Chesney's portentous attack on the myopia of contemporary
militaryplanning-a polemic against national complacency-exploited

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more than just the widespreadfear of conflictwith Germany.It also

capitalizedon a deeper sense of socialdisquietby locatingthe causes
of the imaginaryPrussianinvasionin the fact that "powerwas then
passingawayfrom the classwhich had been used to rule, and to face
politicaldangers,and which had broughtthe nationwith honourunsullied throughformerstruggles,into the hands of the lower classes,
uneducated, untrainedto the use of political rights, and swayed by
Chesney'sreference to a postwarFrance subject to
"foolishcommunism"implicitlypoints to a similar fate for Britain
unless the necessaryaction is taken (B, 5), confirmingDarko Suvin's
speculation,in his accountof Victorianscience fiction, that "insome
subterraneanways ... much of the force of this text comes from an
unacknowledgedequation between fear of foreign invasion and of
The author of The Battle of Dorking is in addition troubled by
the prospect of impendingeconomic decline, and this fear, fulfilled
especiallyin the mid 1880s, is also symptomaticof the state of social
flux characteristicof the late 1860s and early 1870s. For Chesney,
England'swealth is the resultof free trade,which "hadbeen working
for more than a quarterof a century,"such that "thereseemed to be
no end to the riches it was bringingus" (B, 3). But Britainis merely
"a big workshop"dependent on the needs of other nations,and it is
the failureto build some kind of safetymechanisminto the economy,
in order "to insure our prosperity,"that precipitatesthe collapse of
the City when the threatof invasionarises (B, 4-5). "Wethoughtwe
were livingin a commercialmillennium,whichmustlastfora thousand
years at least,"the narratorruefullyobserves (B, 63).
The firstfictiondirectlyto registerthe impact of the Communeis
a pamphletentitled The Communein London (1871). Its authorwas
Samuel BracebridgeHemyng, the writer of a series of aristocratic
adventurenovels,who had contributedthe accountof prostitutionin
Henry Mayhew'sLondonLabourand the LondonPoor (1861-1862).
Hemyng's"Chapterof AnticipatedHistory"is a roughlymaderepository
for the apocalypticfearsevokedby Chesney.The threatsof a working
classstirredinto seditionby the cumulativeimpactof the ReformBill,a
Germaninvasion,andan imminenteconomicdepressionareallplayed
out in its pages. Its nightmarevisionof an Englishrevolutioninspired
by the Commune locates the causes of social upheavalin a laboring
population"intoxicatedby theirsuccessesin obtainingthe suffrageand
the ballot,"in a Prussianinvasionat Harwichand Dorkingin 1871, and
in "a decreasingtrade."'16
Set in the imaginaryaftermathof Victoria's
Matthew Beaumont

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reign,it looksbackwith nostalgiato the "VictorianEra"-if not quite

a "commercialmillennium,"still a time of flourishingtradeand peace
(C, 4). This orderis shatteredby the uprisingof a bloodthirstyworking-classmob that, led by cosmopolitandemagoguesand backed by
demonicfemaleinsurgents,sets up a despoticstateonlyoverthrownby
the Princeof Wales'scounter-offensive.Althoughformallyunoriginal
(in fact, derivativeof The Battle of Dorking),this text signalsthe repopulationof a distinctliterarytopos,the classwaras livingnightmare.
As a financiallyand politicallyopportunisticnarrativewhich, as Suvin
says, "threw together an 'AnticipatedHistory'... and the red-hot
theme of the day in a hasty concoctionmixinggory Paris-stylestreet
carnagewith muddled political disquisitions,"it is the prototype of
those cacotopiantexts of the 1880s and 1890s which, in one way or
another,recast the nurserytale of the spectre of communismfor the
late Victorianmiddle classes."
If Chesneyfurnishedthe Victorianbourgeoisiewitha new mythology
of imaginarywarsthatplayedout the fantasiesof Westernnationalism,
then Hemyng tracedout a terrifyingfantasyof revolutionin orderto
dramatizedreamsof a ruling-classhegemony secured by disciplined
class oppression.In effect, he advocatesconservativereform of the
status quo. "Whatsufficesit that the insurrectionwas put down, that
the gutters ran blood, and that the Communistswere hunted down
and destroyed like rats?"his narratorasks, concluding that "there
must have been somethingradicallywrong in the governmentof the
nation to make the establishmentof a Commune possible"(C, 42).
This fantasticalrhetoricis instrumentalto the propagandistfunction
of the narrative."It seemed as if the end of the worldwas come, and
the whole of Londontopplingdown in one commonruin,"he intones
with vengeful satisfaction(C, 40).
The firstformulationof the propagandistfunctionof this prophetic
technique is perhapsthe ImaginaryHistoryof the Next ThirtyYears
(1857), which in a different political climate had recommended
"writinghistory before [rather] than after the facts," in order to
"throwa light forwardinto the darknessand preventdanger."' This
narrative'sappeal to preventativeaction was obeyed by several antiradicalwritersof the late Victorianperiod.Typically,a latercacotopia,
"England'sDownfall:"or, the Last Great Revolution(1893), by "An
Ex-Revolutionist,"addresses itself to "the rising generation,"upon
which "everythingdepends."Its messageis a predictablyconservative
and paternalisticone: "The destinies of England are in your hands.
Show the world what you can do. Think of what Englandwas once

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and what it is now, and rememberthat it is never too late to mend."19

cacotopiasconstructthemselvesas falseprophecies.And
their status as false prophecies depends on the hopeful assumption
that their readershave the power and the will to execute the political
responsibilityascribedto them.
This cannot of course be guaranteed.So the anti-socialistprophecies of the late nineteenth centuryare scored with insecurityabout
their own ideologicalefficacy.The naive optimismof the Imaginary
History-which announcesthat "Historiesof the Futurecould hardly
fail to influencethe future,for the mere proclamationof oraclesoften
ensures their fulfilment"-is qualifiedas the narrativeform matures
The final
underaltereddomesticcircumstancesin the latercacotopias."0
polemicalappeal Edgar
the recitalof the horrorsI sufferedprovesufficientlydeterrentto prevent theirultimaterealization!"-isplaintiveby comparison.2'
a book is a gesture uncomfortablysimilarto sending a message in a
bottle: it is not alwayspossible to predict who will read it and how it
will be interpreted.E. H. Berens and I. Singer,joint authorsof The
Story of My Dictatorship(1894), seem to be aware of the difficulty
that they face when, in a contradictoryconclusionto their vision of
a politicalfuture ruinedby populismand pluralism,they invite each
reader to "put on it his own interpretation,"and then insist that in
fact it "hasbut one meaningand one moral."22
These cacotopianwriterstend to displacetheir own sense of political helplessnessonto their readers.The narratorof The Communein
London,afterdescribingthe insurrection,exclaims:"Wouldto heaven
it couldbe tornout of the book,but there it stands,red and forbidding,
a warningfor all time to come" (C, 42). He betraysHemyng'ssense
of isolationas a writer.Only the text'sreadership,he implies, is in a
position to tear the leaf from the book, to efface the traumaticimage
of a futurerevolution,by takingpoliticalactionin the present.But it is
just this implicitnotion of a readershipthat compoundsthe problem,
for it is based on a false, wish-fulfilmentidentificationof the fiction's
audience as an effectualcollectivity.Hemyng'sbook dreamsof a kind
of PrimroseLeague of readers.Symptomaticof all cacotopias,this is
an embattledresponseto the advanceof a masspoliticsin Britain,to a
nightmarepeopledwith ignorantvotersat the ballotbox and insurgent
workerstakingconcertedactionin the streets,the worldof the second
and third Reform Acts and of the Paris Commune. The authorsof
these novels and pamphletswaged a fictionaloffensiveby forgingthe
rhetoricaltools of an anti-revolutionismthat, by fillingtheir readers'

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imaginationswith the spectralsymbolsof a fictionalsocialistmenace,

sought expresslyto influencebourgeoisclass-consciousness.

The irruptionof the Parisinsurrectioninto middle-classconsciousness at the end of the century,andits indelibleimpacton the incipient
anti-communistimaginary,wasto a criticaldegree conditionedby what
RaymondWilliamscalledthe "crisisof metropolitanexperience"at the
end of the nineteenth century.23
Lord Salisburydiagnosedsomething
like this when he wrote the followingin his articleon the Commune:
"It is the destiny of France to exhibit, for the benefit of others, the
special dangersof modem civilizationin their most aggravatedform.
Among these, not the least serious is the obstacle to peaceable govThe populaernmentwhich the growthof large cities has created."24
1851 and
tion of London increasedfrom
1881, leading directlyto chronic overcrowdingand slum conditions,
but the social effects of this urban concentrationwere exacerbated
by the displacementof the metropolitanpopulationas a result of the
commercialexpansionand demolitionof the city. In the second half
of the century,the labor force was brutallyevicted from the central
districts,still the source of work, in a reorganizationof urban space
which, as the arbitraryconsequenceof railwayand dockdevelopment,
warehousebuilding,and street clearance,led to evictionscomparable
of mid-centuryParis.Accordto the moresystematicHaussmannization
early 1870s the English capital
ing to Gareth StedmanJones, by
"washauntedby the spectre of Parisianbarricades,"conjuredup by a
housingproblem that "compriseda direct threat to social stability."25
The realizationof urbanspaceas the spaceof revolutionin Parisplaced
the city at the center of the cacotopianproject.
An open letter printed in The Republicanof 1 May 1871, entitled
"Paris Today-London Tomorrow,"underlined the point. "Is not
London seething with the same spirit of discontent?"it demanded,
insistingthat"itonlywantsa combinationof circumstances-say a bad
harvest,and a run for gold to bring the battle between propertyand
Little more than a decade
labourto the same issue in this country."26
later, this collision of circumstancesoccurred.The severe economic
depressionof the mid 1880s, compoundedby industrialdecline and
acute housing shortages,led, on the one hand, to the demoralization
and impoverishmentof the artisansat the respectable end of the
workingclass, and, more dramatically,on the other,to the expansion


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of the so-called residuum,the mass of desperatelypoor unemployed

or sporadicallyemployedpeople. The latterstratum,closelyassociated
with criminalcorruptionand socialistagitationin the imaginationof
the middle classes, found its most famous literaryexpressionin the
lumpen,animalizedMorlocksof Wells'sdystopia,The TimeMachine.
By the mid 1890s, it was alreadyestablishedas the collective villain
of cacotopianfiction,especiallyafter the unemployedriots in central
Londonof 1886 and 1887. Likethe ParisCommune,importedmemories of which were now pressed into service again, this rioting was
significantfor the Britishbourgeoisieless because of what happened
than because of "the strengthof middle-classreactionto it and the
extent of the fear of the casualresiduumthat it revealed."27
The cacotopiantexts of this time form a part of this defensive
response in the face of the revelationof a potentiallyimminent social crisis. Their capacityto propagandizein this way was primarily
dependent on the skillwith which, conjoiningrealistand anti-realist
literarydevices,they gothicizedthe sociopoliticallychargedtopography
of the capital,in orderto imparta ghoulishimmediacyto the prospect
of revolution.The Timespioneered a fantasticalnaturalismin 1871,
when, in a passagereminiscentof BarnabyRudge (1841), it mapped
"thepoliticalgeographyof the Revolution"directlyonto London:"The
Reds are at the Mansion-house;their army is in ruined forts about
Clapham;the other army is about Sydenhamand Wimbledon;the
other Governmentis at Richmond;and the invadersare at Highgate
and Harrow,and all overthe north."28
this technique,depictinga facelessurbanmassflatteningcentralLondon in an offensive againstimperialand ruling-classculture. In The
Communein London,the unrulymob mimics the destructionof the
Vend6meColumnduringthe Communein Pariswhen it demolishes
the Albert Memorial(C, 27). In The Decline and Fall of the British
Empire (1890), to take a typical later cacotopia,"a dirty unwashed
crowd"demonstratingin TrafalgarSquare proceeds to burn down
BuckinghamPalace,KensingtonPalace,and all the gentlemen'sclubs,
wastelandof povultimatelyreducingLondonto a post-revolutionary
erty,incomparablyworse than that of the nineteenth century.29
Two cacotopiannovels that allegorize the impact of an English
revolution,althoughthey are not overtlyconcernedwith an insurrectionaryurbanworkingclass, portraythe capitalin a state of particularly eerie gothic devastation.The Last Man in London (1887) tells
the story of a man who, for one feverishweek, experiencesLondon
as "a City of the Dead."30In a revealingpassageat the center of the

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narrative,he runs amok in the empty streets, smashingthe symbols

of capitalistcivilization-windows of shops like Liberty's,busts of the
greatpoets-and proclaiminghimself monarch.He has been infected
with a virulent strain of revolutionism.The Yearof Miracle (1891)
sensationallyrelates the impact of a plague that, germinatedin the
squalidrecesses of Whitechapel,wreakshavoc amongthe population
until TrafalgarSquare,the scene of a later riot, looks "likeone vast
charnel house."31Such imagery served to convince its middle-class
readersthat the social chaos of the city was the creationof the urban
poor and that this degenerateclass stratumwas alone responsiblefor
the barbaricprospect of revolution.Catastrophicimages conductthe
If the physical business of building barricades,as Kristin Ross
suggests,is a species of bricolage,since it entailswrenchingeveryday
objects from their habitualcontext in order to use them for radically
differentends, then somethinganalogousto this process is at workin
the late Victoriancacotopias,which redeployfamiliarliterarytropes,
like naturalandbiblicalmetaphors,and use them as blockswithwhich
to build the anti-socialistimaginationand so shore up bourgeoisideology.32They help to constructthe political myth that working-class
actionis inherentlydestructive,to the point of being apocalyptic.And
as with the political myths that proliferatedon the right at the time
of the Commune, they are composed not so much of theories and
doctrinesas of "bundlesof images and evocations"which exercise "a
cumulativeand collective power to swayemotions."33
The middle class's incomprehensionin the face of an amoebic
Populaceis typicallyimaged in terms of a dangerousnaturalor infernal force over which supposedlyrationalhumanagents,like the state,
have no control.This metaphoricstrategyis indebted to the rhetoric
of fictionaland non-fictionalaccountsof the French Revolution,like
ThomasCarlyle'sFrenchRevolution(1837) and CharlesDickens'sA
Taleof TwoCities (1859). It is also mediatedthroughthe experiences
of the last uprisingof the masses in living memory,the Commune.
Volcanicimagery,to take one example,is particularlypopular.Francis
Kilvert,that quintessentiallymild-manneredcountrycurate,wrote in
March1871 that "thoseParisiansare the scum of the earth,and Paris
is the crater of the volcano, France, and a bottomless pit of revoluOne authorof a travelnarrativeabout a journey
tion and anarchy."34
"[t]hroughFranceand Spainin 1871"entitledit OverVolcanoes.35
if English residentsof Parisfelt themselves "to be living on the side
of a volcano"in the days leading up to the insurrectionat Montmar474

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tre, as the MethodistWilliamGibson put it, then the experience of

respectableLondonersduringand after the extremesocial tension of
the mid 1880swas a comparableone.36H. HermanChilton,a Staffordshire lock manufacturer,dramatizesthis comparisonin his cacotopian
fiction, Woman Unsexed(1892), mocking British complacency.The
prematuredeclarationthat"herein England,eruptionsof the
substratumhave been few and short,owing chieflyto the triumphant
commonsenseof the middle classes"is later ironicallyoverturnedby
the spectacleof revolutionin centralLondon:"Thatmassof seething
humanitysurged awaytowardsthe West-Endas lava,after labouring
in the bowels of the earth,boils over its crater.""37
These images are freightedwith infernalassociations.And revolution itself, specificallythe actualmomentof insurrection,is frequently
figuredas a visionof hell in the cacotopias.The Communeonce more
provides the most recent and compellingprecedent. Pope Pius IX's
descriptionof the Communardsas "devilsrisen up from hell bringing the inferno to the streets of Paris"was echoed by historiansand
journalistsfascinatedby the dramaticincendiarydestructionof the
city.38These impressionsof "a hell, with death for a girdle,"as John
Leightonput it, were stillbeing invokedtwo decadeslaterin Britain.39
In an article on "Recollectionsof the Commune in Paris"published
in Blackwood'sin 1894, the anonymousauthor,a friend of Laurence
Oliphant,rememberedthe French capitalas "theuniversalfurnace,"
andrecalledthatthe "lurid,lowering,loomingawfulness"of the burning
buildingscreated an effect "thatcould only be called hellish."40
The dominantexperienceof anarchyin the last daysof May 1871,
in fact, comes to substitutefor the events of two monthsearlier,when
the Parisianworkingclass took power in a spiritof comparativecalm.
In the subsequentfictionalrepresentationsof revolutionaryuprisings
in England, it is the workingclass who, in a cruelly ironic reversal,
are blamedfor the bloodysaturnaliathat shouldhavebeen associated
with the Versaillesarmy.Condensingand displacingthe historyof the
Commune,the authorof TheDoom of the CountyCouncilof London
(1892), for example,describesthe regimentedranksof ten thousand
constablesdefendingthe nation'shonourin TrafalgarSquare,whichis
peopled by "ashrieking,plunderingmob of demons incarnate,rushing franticallyhitherand thither,as thoughthe very gates of Hell had
been brokendown and its occupantslet loose."41
These bloodyscenes
of plunderand destruction,most of them set in the West End, restage
the middle-classmelodramaof the Commune even as they play out
and repressthe chthonic forces of contemporaryLondon.

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Miasmicimagery,dense with moralmeaning,linksthese two topoi.

If duringthe Mayfighting"Parisscarcelyknew dayfromnight,"and a
"thick,blackcloud of smoke ... obscuredand intensifiedthe horrors
of an awfuldrama,"then this revolutionarycityscapewas to resonate
with the pre-revolutionaryexperienceof middle-classLondoners,for
whom the infamousindustrialsmog concealed and revealedthe lurking presence of the residuum.42William Delisle Hay, author of the
Social-DarwinistutopiaThreeHundredYearsHence (1881), explored
the allegoricalpotentialof pollutiona yearearlierin a shortcacotopian
fiction expressingbourgeoisfear of the urban masses. The Doom of
the Great City (1880) is ostensiblyabout the destructionof London's
entire populationby fog, a naturalphenomenon(though,as the opening passage of Bleak House [1853] reminds us, urban fog tended to
obscure the difference between the naturaland the social). In fact,
it is about the poisonousinfluence of "theblack enormityof London
sin," the crucible of which is of course the impoverishedclasses.43
The real subject of this grimly gothic tale is glimpsed in a number
of narrativeand descriptivedevices. Its very formatis telling, for the
narrativeis presented as a letter from a survivorof this holocaustto
his grandchildren,which immediatelypositions it within the formal
traditionof TheBattleof Dorkingand TheCommunein London.Also,
it is set at a time of bad harvests,economicdepression,and "continual
strife between capitaland labour"(D, 15).
It is an importantaside on class, however,that makesthe polemical purposeof the piece quite clear.Hay'snarratorhymnsthe middle
class as the "reallife"of the city, but warnsthat this life is threatened
because, on the one hand, degeneratearistocratichabitshave filtered
down to it and, on the other,"upfrom the lowest depths there [have]
constantlyar[isen]a streamof grosser,fouler moralputrescence"(D,
15). The spleneticreferencesto republicanismand socialismfollowing
this passageleave no doubt that it is the latterwhich is trulyto blame
for the impending cataclysm.This is further confirmedby the plot
that unfoldsonce the initialscene-settinghas ended in an analysisof
the industrialcauses and social effects of a fog that afflictsLondonin
February1882. This fog originatesin the East End, where it chokes
to death its first victims, before spreadingto the suburbs.The first
casualtyencounteredby the narratoras he walks into an apparently
desertedcity center from Dulwich,where he happensto be staying,is
(scarcelycoincidentally)a policeman.And "thevery heart and home
of Horror itself" (D, 46), he finally discovers, is the West End-a
scene of genocide.


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The post-apocalyptic landscape of London imaged here evokes

descriptions of Paris after the Commune, which All the Year Round
likened to a desert, and which occasioned the Fortnightly Review's
declaration that the sheer lifelessness of the city proved "that Paris
has outlived its prime."44By chance, it also anticipates the choking
smog of February 1886, in which the unemployment riots took place,
at the height of the depression. The "wild phantasmagoria of frightful
dreams" that afflict the narrator of The Doom of the Great City are
fulfilled not only in the ensuing narrative but in the class conflict of
the following years (D, 31).

Gustave Flaubert allegedly found it difficult to recover from what he

called the "Gothicity"of the Commune.45To the English middle classes,
too, it seemed to have realized a nightmare. Its haunting power added a
feverishintensityto fears of a domestic uprisingthroughoutthe remainder
of the century.A contemporaryarticle in Leisure Hour identified it as "an
ugly dream of the past-a nightmare of terror as to what discontented
democrats would bring about in this country if they were only given the
time and opportunity to work out their crude schemes."46
This trope, common in pseudo-objective accounts of the Commune,
proved even more influential in fictional representations: their discursive register licensed them to subjectify the impact of the insurrection,
fleshing out its proportions to the point of surreal grotesqueness. In A
Young Girl's Adventures in Paris During the Commune (1881), Mrs.
John Waters's heroine sums up the months of the Commune "as a
troubled and horrible dream," the climax of which is the implausible
murder of members of her family by a group of Communards.47And
in another adventure story on the same subject, Herbert Hayens's Paris
at Bay (1897), the hero has a dream about the deaths of the French
military officers Lecomte and Thomas, who were executed during the
Commune: as their corpses stir uneasily, he ascertains with horror
that their faces have his own and his fellow adventurer's features.48
The cacotopias themselves-many of which, in addition to depicting
revolution in some detail, systematically set out the terrible democratic
reforms of their demonic socialist anti-heroes-are governed by the
(il)logic of the nightmare at a molar as well as a molecular level of the
text. Some merely characterize their image of the socialist state in terms
of "the hideous horrors of a prolonged nightmare."49Others, like The
Monster Municipality (1882), use the narrative device of a dream to
Matthew Beaumont

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imaginethe "dreadfulnightmare"of "Londonunder the process of a

Justas utopiais the organizedexpressionof a social
dream,so cacotopiahas its own unconscious:the social nightmare.
Englishcommentatorsreachedfor somethinglike this connection
between cacotopianismand the bad dreamof the Communein 1871.
A piece in the Timesof 29 May 1871, entitled "The Horrorsof Civil
War,"described the atmosphereof Paris in the preceding days as a
paranoidone, in which the correspondentis "oppressedever by the
scenes of destructionand desolation"that surroundhim. It produces,
he says, "a sensation more nearly allied to nightmarethan to any
psychologicalexperiencewith which I am familiar,but yet requiring
some new word to define it."'5The new word for which he grasps,I
propose hypothetically,is "cacotopian."
The historicalprecedenceof the Communewas,forthe bourgeoisie,
who deemed it both impracticableand appallingin its implications,
cacotopianpar excellence.The philanthropistJames Tuke, lecturing
on the events of 18 Marchat the time, admittedas much. Imagininga
recent riotin Hyde Parkbeing playedout to its Communalconclusion
(London usurped by workerswith "littlerespect for anybody'slife,"
troops fraternizingwith them, "judgesand all persons in authority"
exiled or imprisoned),he concludesthat "thatwould be an analogous
positionto Parison that day-a state aboutas dreadfulas could be.'"52
It is this symptomaticresponse,the anxiousintrojectionof the Commune by the English middle classes, and its fantasticprojection,that
explainsthe presence of the cacotopiaas a literaryform at this juncture, contemporaneousas it is with the originsof that more inclusive
genre, the imaginaryhistory.
The late nineteenth-centurycacotopiais a perverse expressionof
what the Marxistphilosopherof utopia Ernst Bloch called the "Novum."This concept is used by Bloch to signify a new consciousness
engendered by "the mandateof the time"-here, the ascendancyof
the workingclass at the time of an incipientcrisisof confidencein the
advanceof capitalism.As we have seen, anxietyand fear characterize
the bourgeoisresponseto the Novum, the collectiveapprehensionof
a new historicalpossibility:proletarianrevolutionin the metropolitan
center. And Bloch classifiesthese reactionsas "expectantemotions."
Likeall manifestationsof fear,the late Victorianfearof revolutionis an
expectantemotionthat"extendsbeyondits 'founding'idea-content;the
expectantcontentshowsa greater'depth'thanthe givenidea-content."
The terrifiedimagination,in other words, elaboratesthe object of its
fear as it projectsit into the future."Everyfearimplies,as a fulfilment


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correlate,total destructionsuch as there has not yet been before, hell

let loose," Bloch writes.53The "fulfilmentcorrelate"of the fear of
revolutionin the late nineteenthcenturyis the socialistsociety raised
on the dead bodies of the bourgeoisie:in Caesar'sColumn (1890),
by the AmericanPopulistsenatorIgnatiusDonnelly,the eponymous
monumentto the civilizationushered in by insurrectionis a pyramid
built by pouring cement onto a vast pile of pestilentialcorpses.54If
the reactionarymyth of the ParisCommune,for the English middle
classes,is the "'founding'idea-content"of the fear of revolution,then,
stimulatedby domestic turmoil,the cacotopianimaginationextends
this object to its apocalypticconclusion.
"The only crime of the Commune,"one Communardmournfully
remarked,"was to have anticipatedthe future."55For the English
middleclasses,its comminatorypoweroutstrippedits materialimpact.
In Englandin the 1870s,the prolepticimpactof the revolutionin Paris
representedwhatWalterBenjaminmighthavecalledthe bourgeoisie's
"momentof awakening,"which "wouldbe identicalwith the 'now of
in which thingsput on their true-surrealist-face."'56
The dramaof the Commune seemed to be the phantasmagoriaof a
more or less imminent future. The indeterminacyof the spectre of
communismimportedto EnglandfromFrance,its undatedprediction
of socialdisaster,inspirednot despair,which for Bloch is "expectation
of somethingnegativeaboutwhich there is no longeranydoubt,"but,
as I have indicated,fear and anxiety,which are "stillquestioning,hovering, still determinedby mood andby the undetermined,unresolved
element of its Object."The Commune, and the events of the 1880s
that reactivatedits memory in England,provokedan "anticipatory"
response.The cacotopia,in fact, incorporatesa "utopianfunction."57
The cacotopiantextof the late nineteenthcentury,depictingrevolution as an infernalstate of social flux,conscriptsreactionarypolitical
instinctsin supportof a utopianmodelof capitalismsupposedlyimplicit
in the present.At the end of TheCommunein London,Hemyng'snarrator,after brieflyrecountingthe Commune'sdefeat, concludes that
now Englandcan finally"beginto lookforwardwithhope to the future"
(C, 45). The future to which he refers, a dimly luminousimage of a
triumphantcapitalistsystem,might be termed "Utopia(Limited)"(in
S. Gilbert'soperetta Utopia(Limited);or, The Flowersof Progress
(1893), Utopiais floated as a company).Like the progressiveutopian
function, this conservativeone is conditionedby what Jean Pfaelzer
calls "theincentivesof utopia."But Pfaelzerundervaluesthe dialectic
of incentivesthat typifiesthe form.The "incentives"of the late VictoMatthew Beaumont

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rianutopiado not "representeither a stimulusto or a digressionfrom

They simultaneouslystimulateand dampen the impulse to
act politically.Partlybecause of the irreduciblycontradictorynature
of the bourgeoisnotion of progress-its vision of a capitalistsociety
emancipatedfrom class conflict-the cacotopiaboth encouragesand
discouragespracticalactivity.Between the nightmareof proletarian
dictatorshipand the dream of a perfect, peaceful social hierarchy,
these futuristfictions can only gesture, tentatively,towardsa world
freed from immediateclass antagonisms.
This gesture is inscribedinto the form'salmoststructuralappealto
the interpellatedreadershipthat these cacotopiasprojectas a political
collective. At the end of "England'sDownfall," the "Ex-Revolutionist" narratormakes a plea that is typicalof the form. I now want to
quote it in full:
Let us go backto our old ways.Equalityand fraternitymay be all
verywell to talkabout;but theywon'tdo in practice,andthe sooner
we admitthis the better.But everythingdependson you, the rising
generation.The destiniesof Englandare in your hands.Show the
worldwhatyou can do. Thinkof whatEnglandwasonce andof what
it is now,andrememberthatit is nevertoo late to mend.59
The "Ex-Revolutionist"'sappeal is a utopian one in the sense that, as
Fredric Jameson claims, any manifestation of class consciousness that
figures to itself the unity of a collectivity is utopian. But according to
Jameson this utopian impulse must be premised on a prior moment

of class consciousness,that of the oppressed classes graspingtheir

own solidarity.In the late nineteenth century,this prior moment is
embodied in the uprisingin Paris of 1871. The Commune provided
the crucialglimpse of the danger of the "unificationof the laboring
population," so necessary to the formation of that "mirror image
of class solidarity among the ruling groups." In this way it not only
shaped the anti-communist imagination of the time but marked its
most elaborate and sensationalistic mode of expression. The cacotopia
describes the dialectical indissociability of an ideological function and
a utopian one. By depicting the horrifying consequences of workingclass power, it operates as "a hegemonic work whose formal categories
as well as its content secure the legitimation . .. of class domination."
And by promoting the ideal of a capitalist order exempt from internal
contradictions, it attempts "to resonate a universal value inconsistent

with the narrowerlimits of class privilegewhich informits more immediate ideological vocation."60

England's Anti-Communist Imaginary

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The ideologicalforce of these cacotopiantextsdependson theirbelief thatcapitalismcan abolishclassconflict,andthatthe workingclass

can be renderedquiescent.So long as they subscribeto this conviction,
they are only subject to anxietyand fear, "expectant"emotions that
enable their polemicalstrategy.W. A. Watlockconcludeshis account
of the Terrorof an Englishrevolution,TheNext 'Ninety-Three(1886),
with a comfortingmoral:"Thisrevolutionhas caused infinite sorrow,
sufferingand mischief;but it has not been entirelywithoutgood effect
in provingthe abjectfolly of those mad schemes,which, for their own
self-seekingpurposes, the cantingcrew has advocated.""Thisbeing
so,"he announces,"thereyet seems hope for England."61

At the point at whichthis potentiallyhappyendingno longer seems

feasible,the propagandistagendaof the cacotopianformis undermined
by its own narrativestructure.Charles Gleig'snovel When All Men
Starve (1898), written in the traditionof The Battle of Dorking and
The Communein London, ends abruptly,during a revolutionset in
London at the turn of the twentieth century.The novel purportsto
be a "briefsketch of the politicaland social events of the last months
of the English monarchy,"the downfallof which follows swiftlyfrom
the decline of Britain'seconomic and militarysupremacyin the face
of a famine, on the one hand, and a hopeless naval conflict against
the combined forces of Russia,Germany,and France, on the other.62
In these inauspiciousconditions,after riots over bread shortages,a
revolutionaryforce of some 30,000 rebels is assembled.It marcheson
London,and in "theWimbledonmassacre,"in which 6000 policemen
are butchered,it securesits firstsignificantvictory:"[T]helastbulwark
of Capitalwas shattered;Society and the sacred rights of property
were no longer protected by so much as a single truncheon"(W,
177, 178-79). In a "carnivalof license,"the rebels sweep on through
Wandsworth,Clapham,Battersea,and Vauxhall,before crossingthe
riverandconqueringWestminster,Mayfair,the West End, and,finally,
"the city of gold"(W, 182, 183).
Like a number of cacotopianfictions,includingThe Doom of the
Great City, the author'svengeful invective has two specific targets.
The first of these is the workingclass, which assumes the form of a
"greatsurging mob of yelling devils" (W, 183). Gleig undoubtedly
manifestssome sympathyfor the poor, so long as they are deserving
and duly passive;but he reserves a visceral hatred for them when
Matthew Beaumont

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theytakemattersintotheirownhands.Describingthe morningafter
a nightof looting,he noteswith gleefuldisgustthat,"gorgedwith
plunder,the scumof the greatcityretreat[ed]to its foullairs,leaving
the deadto taintthe air andstriketerrorto the heartof trembling
women"(W,172).The secondof the book'stargetsis the aristocracy
andthe plutocracy,
the derelictionof whosesocialresponsibility
is a
for beingdecadentandparasitic.He beratesthem for theirrefusal
to offerproofof a capacityforreform,andforcompromise,
massacreat WimbledonCommon:
Evenat thisdesperatecrisis,Respectability
upperandmiddleclassesof society.... [But]society-using the term
in the broadersense-had beenbasedupona rottenedificeof moneybags,it hadtoo longbeen contentto hiretroopsandpoliceto enforce
its selfishlawsupontheworkers.... Theluxuryof aneffetecivilisation
the moneyedclassesandleftthemdefencelessagainst
the thewsandsinewsof sturdyLabour.(W, 181)

The crimeof the capitalistclassis to havefailedto forgean alliance

withthe middleclassin the faceof theircommonenemy.The crime
of the proletariat
is to havemadehistoryon its ownterms.
scene,of thenocturnal
ing Buckingham
of the Tuileries
thatrevisesthe mythof the carnivalesque
attheendof the Commune(W,184)."Fromallcorners,"
drunkengirls,untilthousandsaregatheredroundthe glowingbuilding, shouting,cursing,dancinga madcan-canin the flickerof the
leapingflames"(W,192).Thefinalsentenceof the novelconjuresup
an imageof the mobdancing"tillthe greydawnstealsup fromthe
east andthe burntpalaceloomsblackandhaggardin the cold light
of bourgeoisorder.The
of morning"
(W,192).Thereis no restoration
bookdoes not containa postscriptin whichthis dystopianprospect
is redeemed.The rulingclass,Gleig'sbookaggressively
to the
by failing
The middleclass,its propertyplundered,is a victimbothof the plupoor.It hasabscondedfromitsheroic,
role thisepicclashbetweenclasses,betweentheseEloi
andMorlocksof thefin de siecle.

England's Anti-Communist Imaginary

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"Is this reality,or is it all a hideous nightmare?"the protagonistof

Downfall"hadasked,mesmerizedby the sightof Londoners
burning.63The response offered by most utopian fiction
and by most cacotopianfiction is to proclaimthat this experience of
social anarchy,prefigurationsof which can be glimpsedin the battles
between capital and labor that scarify the late-nineteenth century,
is a nightmarefrom which we will awaketo realityin the future. In
the last and most powerful chapter of Edward Bellamy'sbestseller
LookingBackward(1888), the hero JulianWest suddenlyfears that
twentieth-centuryBoston, the utopiancity in which he happilylives
after having slept for an entire century,is merely a chimera. Unaccountably,he finds himself wanderingthroughthe streets of Boston
at the turn of the twentiethcentury,horrifiedby "the festeringmass
of humanwretchedness"that he thought he had left behind him. In
fact, this returnto West'spast present, so to speak,is a hideousnightmare;and to his relief he wakes up againin the future present:"As
with an escaped convictwho dreamsthat he has been recapturedand
broughtbackto his darkand reekingdungeon, and opens his eyes to
see the heaven'svault spreadabove him, so it was with me, as I realized that my returnto the nineteenth centuryhad been the dream,
and my presence in the twentieththe reality."64
In the late nineteenth
century,historyis truly a nightmarefrom which West, and the more
conservativeauthorsof social dreams,is tryingto awake.
Gleig'sanswerto the "Ex-Revolutionist"'s
question is less slippery
and ambiguous:the social cataclysmis not a hideous nightmarefrom
which there can ultimatelybe a reprievebut an imminentfuturefrom
which it is impossibleto escape, a historicalreality.Despite its rhetoricalvitality,WhenAll Men Starveis politicallydepressivebecause
it appearsto commemoratethe politicalfailureof reformas a means
of heading off revolution.This is the prophylacticprogrammeof reform that, for example,the FreethinkerCharlesBradlaugh,referring
explicitlyto the ParisCommune,had outlined in 1884:
I desire to avoid encouragement of revolution in this country. The

memoriesof 1870-1 in Francearetoo close andtoo terrible,andthe

echoes of 1848 on the Continent have scarcely died away. I desire
to avoid a revolution which in some of our overcrowded cities might
awaken monstrous passions, and involve shocking consequences.65

Overwhelmedby the echoes andmemoriesof events on the continent,

WhenAll Men Starvecannotthinkbeyondthe shockingconsequences
of the revolutionit imagines. It inscribes a vengeful warningof the

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dangerscourtedby the rulingclassbut withoutmuchconfidencein its

own propagandistfunction.In its imaginaryrealizationof the spectre
of communism,it buriesthe utopianimpulsethat formerlycharacterized even the cacotopianform.
By the turn of the twentieth century,the certaintiesof capitalist
society were in a state of potentiallyterminal corrosion-not least
because of the insurrectionin Paris in 1871 and the domestic disturbancesof the end of the followingdecades. It was no longer selfevident, if indeed it ever had been, that, as one commentatorput it
with desperateoptimismin 1885, "the Englishpeople have arrivedat
the highest known pitch of social happiness and nationalprosperity
The cataclysmicfinalimage
hithertorealisedin the world'shistory.""66
of WhenAll Men Starve,frozen for futurity,testifies to this fact. "To
the privilegedclasses,"Old Hammondrecordswith grim satisfaction
in his account of "How the Change Came"in the revolutionistWilliam Morris'sNews from Nowhere (1891), "it seemed as if the end
of the world were come."67Ironically,however,it was not of course
socialist revolutionthat precipitatedthe expected apocalypsein the
early twentieth century,but the crisis of capitalismmarkedby the
First WorldWar.
John Stuart Mill, quoted in HansardParliamentaryDebates, 3rd ser., vol. 190
(1868), col. 1517.
in 1985 (London:Hutchinson,1978), 52.
Anthony Burgess,"Cacotopia,"
Krishan Kumar,Utopia and Anti-Utopiain Modern Times (Oxford:Blackwell,
1987), 49.
4 FriedrichEngels,"Prefaceto the 1888 EnglishEdition[of the CommunistManifesto],"in CollectedWorks,45 vols. (London:Lawrenceand Wishart,1975-), 26:517.
' Times,10
April1871, 8.
6 Emile de
Laveleye,The Socialismof To-Day,trans.GoddardH. Orpen (London:
Field and Tuer,1884), xliv.
of Utopiasand ImaginaryTravelsand Histories,"
James T. Presley,"Bibliography
Notes and Queries,4th ser., 12 July 1873, 12:22.
[Lord Salisbury],"TheCommuneand the Internationale,"
QuarterlyReview 131
(October1871):568, 555.
Times, 29 March1871, 5.
Matthew Arnold,Lettersof MatthewArnold1848-1888, ed. GeorgeW.E. Russell,
2 vols. (London:Macmillan,1895), 2:57.
" T. B.
Macaulay,The SelectedLettersof ThomasBabingtonMacaulay,ed. Thomas
Pinney(Cambridge:CambridgeUniv.Press, 1982), 284.
GeorgLukics, TheHistoricalNovel,trans.Hannahand StanleyMitchell(London:
MerlinPress, 1989), 238.



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13 TheAnnualRegister:
A Reviewof PublicEventsat Homeand Abroad,for the Year
1871 (London:Rivingtons,1872), 175.
The Battle of Dorking:Reminiscencesof a Volunteer(London:
14 G. T. Chesney,
Blackwood,1871), 63-64. HereafterabbreviatedB and cited parentheticallyby page
The Discoursesof Knowledge
15 Darko Suvin,VictorianScienceFictionin the UK"
and Power (Boston:Hall, 1983), 342.
16 Samuel
BracebridgeHemyng,The Communein London;or, ThirtyYearsHence:
A Chapterof AnticipatedHistory (London:Clarke[1871]),4. Hereafterabbreviated
C and cited parentheticallyby page number.
ImaginaryHistoryof the Next ThirtyYears(London:SampsonLow, 1857), 5.
Downfall:"or, the Last GreatRevolution,2nd
ed. (London:Digby and Long, 1893), 174-75.
[EdgarWelch],TheMonsterMunicipality,or,Gogand MagogReformed.A Dream.
By "Grip"(London:SampsonLow, Marston,Searle,and Rivington,1882), 128.
E. H. Berens and I. Singer,The Storyof My Dictatorship(London:Bliss, Sands,
and Foster, 1894), 220-21.
RaymondWilliams,The Countryand the City (London:Chatto and Windus,
1973), 272.
Gareth StedmanJones, OutcastLondon:A Study in the Relationshipbetween
Classesin VictorianSociety(Oxford:ClarendonPress, 1971), 178.
2" "ParisToday-London Tomorrow"
(from The Republican,1 May 1871), in The
EnglishDefenceof the Commune1871, ed. RoydenHarrison(London:MerlinPress,
1971), 160.
2"Times,10 April 1871, 8.
"9 [HenryCrockerMarriotWatson],TheDeclineand Fall of the BritishEmpire:or,
The Witch'sCavern(London:Trischler,1890), 220.
Delaval North,TheLast Manin London(London:Hodderand Stoughton,1887),
31 Fergus Hume, The Yearof Miracle:A Taleof the YearOne ThousandNine Hundred (London:Routledge,1891), 79.
32 KristinRoss, The
Emergenceof Social Space:Rimbaudand the Paris Commune
(London:Macmillan,1988), 36.
33J. M. Roberts,"TheParisCommunefrom the Right,"in The EnglishHistorical
Review, Supplement6 (London:Longman,1973), 5.
34 Francis
Kilvert,Kilvert'sDiary 1870-1879: Selectionsfrom the Diary of the Rev.
FrancisKilvert,ed. WilliamPlomer(London:Cape, 1944), 113.
35 A. Kingsman,Over Volcanoes:or, ThroughFranceand Spain in 1871 (London:
King, 1872).
3: WilliamGibson,Paris during the Commune,1871: Being Lettersfrom Parisand
its Neighbourhood,WrittenChiefly During the Timeof the Second Siege (London:
Whittaker,1872), 25.
37 H. Herman Chilton, WomanUnsexed:A Novel (London:Foulsham,1892), 99,

Matthew Beaumont

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"8Pope Pius IX, quoted in David Harvey,"Monumentand Myth:The Buildingof

the Basilicaof the SacredHeart,"in Consciousnessand the UrbanExperience:Studies in the Historyand Theoryof CapitalistUrbanization,2 vols. (Oxford:Blackwell,
1985), 1:237.
3" John Leighton,Paris Underthe Commune:or, The Seventy-ThreeDays of the
SecondSiege.WithNumerousIllustrations,SketchesTakenon the Spot,and Portraits
(Fromthe OriginalPhotographs)(London:Bradbury,Evans, 1871), 331.
40 "Recollections
of the Communeof Paris,"Blackwood'sEdinburghMagazine155
The Doom of the CountyCouncilof London(London:Allen, 1892), 10.
42 ThomasMarch,The Historyof the Paris Communeof 1871 (London:Swan Sonnenschein, 1896), 309.
43 WilliamDelisle Hay, The Doom of the Great City;Being the Narrativeof a Survivor,WrittenA.D. 1942 (London:Newman[1880]), 10. HereafterabbreviatedD and
cited parentheticallyby page number.
44 See "ParisVignettes,"All the YearRound 6 (23 September 1871):390; Edward
Dicey, "Parisafterthe Peace,"FortnightlyReview 15 (1 April1871):494.
GustaveFlaubert,quotedin FrankJellinek,TheParisCommuneof 1871 (London:
Gollanez,1937), 417.
46 "Of the Commune and On Communism,"
Leisure Hour:A FamilyJournal of
Instructionand Recreation20 (30 September1871):621.
47 Mrs. John Waters,A YoungGirl's Adventuresin Paris (London: Remington,


41 Herbert Hayens,Paris at Bay:A Storyof the Siege and the Commune(London:

Blackie,1897), 232.
49 The Doom of the CountyCouncil,38.
51 Times,29 May 1871, 5.
James Hack Tuke,A Visit to Paris in the Springof 1871, on behalf of the War
Victims'Fund of the Societyof Friends,Being a LectureDeliveredat the TownHall,
Hitchin,April 4, 1871 (London:Kitto, 1871), 25-26.
Ernst Bloch,ThePrincipleof Hope,trans.Neville Plaice,StephenPlaice,andPaul
Knight(Cambridge:MIT Press, 1995), 124, 108.
54EdmundBoisgilbert[IgnatiusDonnelly],Caesar'sColumn:A Storyof the Twentieth
Century(London:Ward,Lock, 1891), chapters36 and 37.
55 C. Barrere,The Storyof the Commune,by "ACommunalist"
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6" Fredric
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Naval Supremacy,and the Horrorswhich Followed the Interruptionof Her Food


England's Anti-Communist Imaginary

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Supply(London:Lane, 1898), 97. HereafterabbreviatedW and cited parenthetically

by page number.
64 Edward
Bellamy,LookingBackward(2000-1887);or, Life in the Year2000 A.D.
(London:Reeves, 1895), 116, 119.
65 Charles
Bradlaugh,How Are We to Abolishthe Lords? (London:Freethought,
1884), 6-7.
C. Litton Falkiner,The New Voyageto Utopia(Dublin:Univ.Press, 1885), 14.
WilliamMorris,Newsfrom Nowhere;or,AnEpochof Unrest:BeingSomeChapters
from a UtopianRomance,in CollectedWorksof WilliamMorris,24 vols. (London:
Longmans,Green, 1910-1915), 16:109.

Matthew Beaumont

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