The Man in the Moone
The Man in the Moone
Frontispiece and title page of the first edition
Author(s) Francis Godwin Original title The Man in the Moone or the Discovrse of a Voyage thither by Domingo Gonsales Language English Genre(s) Science fiction Publisher John Norton, London Publication date 1638
The Man in the Moone is a book by the English divine and bishop Francis Godwin (1562–1633). Apparently written in the late 1620s and published posthumously in 1638 under the pseudonym Domingo Gonsales, it contains the account of a "voyage of utopian discovery". The book is notable for the role it played in what was called the "new astronomy," the branch of astronomy influenced especially by Nicolaus Copernicus. The latter is the only astronomer mentioned by name in the book, although it is also influenced by the theories of Johannes Kepler and William Gilbert. With Kepler's Somnium sive opus posthumum de astronomia lunaris (1634), some critics have claimed it as one of the first works of science fiction.
Date of composition, editions
The date of composition was considered to range from the period between 1578 to 1584, when Godwin was at Christ College, to 1603—in all cases, early in Godwin's life. In 1937, Grant McColley, in "The Date of Godwin's Domingo Gonsales", proposed a much later date, 1627 or 1628, based on internal and biographical evidence. First of all, Godwin used Nicolas Trigault's De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas suscepta ab Societate Jesu (1615) or a later version thereof, which provides Godwin with detailed information about the Jesuit mission in Beijing (founded 1601). Second, a number of statements about physical properties of the Earth and the Moon, including claims about "a secret property which operates in a manner similar to that of a loadstone attracting iron", were not available until after 1620. Finally, he seems to borrow the concept of using a flock of strong, trained birds to fly Gonsales to the Moon from Francis Bacon's Sylva sylvarum, published in July 1626. McColley's dating, "1626–29, with the probable years of composition 1627–28", has generally been accepted.
Only one copy remains of the first edition; it is held at the British Museum. On the title page, its printer was identified as John Norton, and the book was sold by Joshua Kirton and Thomas Warren. To the second edition, published in 1657, was added Godwin's Nuncius Inanimatus (in English and Latin). The third edition was published in 1768; its text was abridged, and a description of Saint Helena functioned as an introduction.
The book had been published in Latin already in 1629. A French translation by Jean Baudoin, L'Homme dans la Lune, was published first in 1648 and again in 1666. This French version was subsequently translated into German as Der fliegende Wandersmann nach dem Mond (1659 and 1660).
The book begins with a prologue in which Gonsales explains how a voyage to the Moon is no more fantastic than a voyage to America was considered earlier. The account proper contains a number of travel narratives, starting in Spain and ending in China. Godwin proposes that the earth is magnetic, and that only an initial push is necessary to escape its magnetic attraction. The energy necessary for this push is provided by a species of bird called gansas, specifically bred and trained for the purpose.
Galileo Galilei's 1610 publication Sidereus Nuncius had a great influence on Godwin's astronomical theories, but unlike Galileo, and like Kepler, Godwin proposes that the dark spots on the Moon are seas, one of many similarities between The Man in the Moone and Kepler's Somnium. Once on the Moon, Gonsales finds it inhabited by tall Christian people who live a happy and carefree life in a kind of pastoral paradise.
The book's genre has been variously identified. When Godwin published his book, the literary genre of utopian fantasy was in its infancy, and critics have recognized how Godwin used a utopian setting to criticize the institutions of his time: lunar location was "the ideal perspective from which to view the earth" and its "moral attitudes and social institutions," according to Maurice Bennett. Other critics have referred to the book as "Renaissance utopia" or "picaresque adventure". While some critics claim it as one of the first works of science fiction, there is no general agreement among critics that it is even "proto-science-fiction".
Criticism and influence
The Man in the Moone quickly became "a source of humour and parody". Cyrano de Bergerac, using Baudoin's 1648 translation, parodied it in L'Autre Monde: où les États et Empires de la Lune (1657). Aphra Behn's The Emperor of the Moon, a 1687 play, was "inspired by...the third edition of [The Man in the Moone] and the English translation of Cyrano's work". A more favorable reader was Edgar Allan Poe (apparently also using Baudoin's translation), who in an appendix to The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall called it "a singular and somewhat ingenious little book". It was one of the inspirations for what has been called the first science fiction text in the Americas, Syzygies and Lunar Quadratures Aligned to the Meridian of Mérida of the Yucatán by an Anctitone or Inhabitant of the Moon ... by Manuel Antonio de Rivas (1775).
The book was given only "lukewarm consideration in different histories of English literature".
- The Man in the Moone: or a Discourse of a Voyage thither by Domingo Gonsales, London, 1638. Facsimile reprint, London: Scolar Press, 1971.
- The Man in the Moone and Nuncius Inanimatus, ed. Grant McColley. Smith College Studies in Modern Languages 19. Northampton, MA, 1937. Repr. Little Logaston, Logaston Press, 1996.
- The man in the moone, ed. William Poole. Broadview Press, 2009. ISBN 9781551118963.
- ^ Poole p. 58; Knowlson p. 357.
- ^ Hutton p. 3.
- ^ a b Hutton p. 4.
- ^ a b Poole p. 57.
- ^ a b McColley p. 47.
- ^ McColley p. 59.
- ^ Knowlson p. 357.
- ^ a b Lawton p. 25.
- ^ Lawton p. 26.
- ^ Capoferro pp. 153–54.
- ^ Hutton pp. 5–6.
- ^ Capoferro p. 154.
- ^ Bennett p. 140.
- ^ a b c d Monterrey p. 72.
- ^ Bennett p. 137.
- ^ Dziubinskyj p. 21-21.
- Bennett, Maurice J. (1983). "Edgar Allan Poe and the Literary Tradition of Lunar Speculation". Science Fiction Studies 10 (2): 137–47.
- Capoferro, Riccardo (2010). Empirical Wonder: Historicizing the Fantastic, 1660–1760. Peter Lang. ISBN 9783034303262. http://books.google.com/books?id=GBGFZFRrA3YC.
- Dziubinskyj, Aaron (2003). "The Birth of Science Fiction in Spanish America". Science Fiction Studies 30 (1): 21–32.
- Hutton, Sarah (2005). "The Man in the Moone and the New Astonomy: Godwin, Gilbert, Kepler". Études Épistémè 7: 3–13. http://revue.etudes-episteme.org/IMG/pdf/ee_7_art_hutton-2.pdf. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- Knowlson, James R. (1968). "A Note on Bishop Godwin's "Man in the Moone:" The East Indies Trade Route and a "Language" of Musical Notes". Modern Philology 65 (4): 357–91. doi:10.1086/390001. JSTOR 435786.
- Lawton, H.W. (1931). "Bishop Godwin's Man in the Moone". The Review of English Studies 7 (25): 23–55. JSTOR 508383.
- McColley, Grant (1937). "The Date of Godwin's Domingo Gonsales". Modern Philology 35 (1): 47–60. doi:10.1086/388279.
- Monterrey, Tomás (2005). "The Man in the Moone: Godwin's Narrative Experiment and the Scientific Revolution". Revista canaria de estudios ingleses 50: 71–86.
- Poole, William (2010). "Keplers Somnium and Francis Godwins The Man in the Moone: Births of Science-Fiction 1593–1638". In Chloë Houston. New Worlds Reflected: Travel and Utopia in the Early Modern Period. Ashgate. pp. 57–70. ISBN 9780754666479. http://books.google.com/books?id=B5-fwpWPbVEC.
- The strange voyage and adventures of Domingo Gonsales, to the world in the moon etc. London: John Lever, 1768.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Man in the Moon (disambiguation) — The Man in the Moon is a shape resembling a human face or figure perceived in the full Moon. Man in the Moon or The Man in the Moon may also refer to: In literature: The Man in the Moone, a 1638 novel by Francis Godwin Man in the Moon (Middle… … Wikipedia
Man You Gotta Get Up — Single by The Apples in Stereo Released 1998 Format … Wikipedia
Man in the Moon — For other uses, see Man in the Moon (disambiguation). Lunar nearside with major maria and craters labeled The Man in the Moon is an imaginary figure resembling a human face, head or body, that observers from some cultural backgrounds typically… … Wikipedia
The Miller's Tale — For the 1996 rock album, see The Miller s Tale: A Tom Verlaine Anthology. The character Miller from The Miller s Prologue and Tale The Miller s Tale (Middle English: The Milleres Tale) is the second of Geoffrey Chaucer s Canterbury Tales (1380s… … Wikipedia
The Apples in Stereo discography — This article is a detailed listing of releases by the indie pop band The Apples in Stereo.Discographytudio albums* Fun Trick Noisemaker (May 2, 1995) * Tone Soul Evolution (September 30, 1997) * Her Wallpaper Reverie (June 8, 1999) * The… … Wikipedia
Sophie Moone — Adult bio name = Sophie Moone gender = female caption = birth = birth date and age|1981|12|24 location = Budapest, Hungary birthname = spouse = death = measurements = 34B 24 35 (87 60 90 cm) measureispenis = no height = height|ft=5|in=5|wiki=yes… … Wikipedia
List of contestants from the UK national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest — Eurovision: Your Country Needs You is the most recent name of the BBC TV show broadcast annually to select Britain s entry into the Eurovision Song Contest. Shows of similar formats have previously gone under several other names, including… … Wikipedia
Moon in art and literature — The Moon has been the subject of many works of art and literature and the inspiration for countless others. It is a motif in the visual arts, the performing arts, poetry, prose and music.Art and popular cultureLiterary*In the Great Moon Hoax of… … Wikipedia
Book of Common Order — The Book of Common Order is the name of several directories for public worship.Genevan Book of OrderThe Genevan Book of Order , sometimes called The Order of Geneva or Knox s Liturgy , is a directory for public worship in the Reformed Church of… … Wikipedia
Tryall — The Tryall (also spelt Tryal and Trial ) was a British East India Company owned East Indiaman captained by John Brooke which was wrecked off the north west coast of Western Australia in 1622. Its crew were the first Englishmen to sight Australia… … Wikipedia