What Not

byRose MacaulayIntroduction byMatthew De Abaitua

October 4, 2022|
What Not by Rose Macaulay
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An early novel by Rose Macaulay about a government program of compulsory selective breeding in a dystopian future England.

In a near-future England, a new government entity—the Ministry of Brains—attempts to stave off idiocracy through a program of compulsory selective breeding. Kitty Grammont, who shares author Rose Macaulay’s own ambivalent attitude, gets involved in the Ministry’s propaganda efforts, which the novel details with an entertaining thoroughness. (The alphabetical caste system dreamed up by Macaulay for her nightmare world would directly influence Aldous Huxley’s 1932 dystopia Brave New World.) But when Kitty falls in love with the Minister for Brains, a man whose genetic shortcomings make a union with her impossible, their illicit affair threatens to topple the government. Because it ridiculed wartime bureaucracy, the planned 1918 publication of What Not was delayed until after the end of World War I.
Rose Macaulay (1881–1958) was an English writer who worked in the British Propaganda Department during the First World War; later, she became a civil servant in the War Office. Several of her satirical novels, including Potterism (1920), Dangerous Ages (1921), and Told by an Idiot (1923) were bestsellers. A journalist, poet, and essayi...
Title:What Not
Product dimensions:248 pages, 7.88 X 5.27 X 0.68 in
Shipping dimensions:248 pages, 7.88 X 5.27 X 0.68 in
Published:October 4, 2022
Publisher:MIT Press
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780262544306

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