The Purple Cloud

The Purple Cloud
Title illustration by J. J. Cameron
AuthorM. P. Shiel
IllustratorJ. J. Cameron
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreScience fiction
PublisherChatto and Windus and others
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback and paperback)

The Purple Cloud is a "last man" novel by the British writer M. P. Shiel. It was published in 1901. H. G. Wells lauded The Purple Cloud as"brilliant"[1] and H. P. Lovecraft later praised the novel as exemplary weird fiction, "delivered with a skill and artistry falling little short of actual majesty."[2]

The novel formed the basis for the 1959 American film The World, the Flesh and the Devil.

Textual variations

The novel exists in three distinct texts. It was first published as a serial, with illustrations by J. J. Cameron, in The Royal Magazine, Vol V, #27-#30, Vol VI, #31–32, January – June 1901. This is the shortest version, and was photo-offset in Volume I of A. Reynolds Morse's monumental series, The Works of M. P. Shiel (1979–1983).[3]

The original book text was published in London by Chatto & Windus in September 1901. This is the longest version, and is considered by many to be the preferred text.[4][5] The 1901 text was reprinted in London by Tartarus Press in 2004 in a superb edition with all the Cameron illustrations from the serial and a new Introduction by Brian Stableford.[6] Hippocampus Press included the 1901 text, but without the illustrations, in an omnibus volume, The House of Sounds and Others, edited by S. T. Joshi (2005).[7][8][9] The 1901 text was also used in the edition published in 2012 in the Penguin Classics series with a new Introduction by John Sutherland.[10]

Shiel revised the novel in the 1920s, by tightening the language, rather than changing the plot. This version was first published in London by Victor Gollancz Ltd. (1929), and in New York by Vanguard Press (1930).[11] This, the final version, was the text most commonly reprinted in numerous subsequent editions. The novel has also been published in French, Italian, German[12] and Spanish.[13][14]

Other Languages
українська: Пурпурова хмара