What is invasion fiction?
Who was the mysterious William Le Queux? Why did a group of famous British authors secretly meet at the outbreak of World War I? And what did “fake news” look like a century ago?
Episode 1 of Words To That Effect explores the power of words and communication. William Le Queux, rarely read today, was in his time a hugely successful author of invasion fiction stories. Exploiting a public fascination and concern with Britain’s preparedness for a military invasion, he created sensational best-selling tales such as The Great War in England in 1897 and The Invasion of 1910. His work was part of a massively popular subgenre of literature known as invasion fiction. This subgenre, often also called future war fiction, began in the 1870s and proliferated right up until the First World War.
Joined this week by Dr. Ailise Bulfin, of Maynooth University, I examine the life of Le Queux and the connections between war, communication, and literature.