Best 1907 Adventures (10)

By: Joshua Glenn
February 24, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1907 adventure novels. Happy 110th anniversary!


Ernest Bramah’s Radium Age sci-fi adventure The Secret of the League (1907; original title: What Might Have Been).

In this dystopian political thriller, written at a time when the Labour Party first emerged as a serious force in British politics, and when England was roiled by labor disputes and strikes, a democratically elected British Labour Party Government — which has improved working conditions, taxed the wealthy, and reduced military spending — is overthrown through the machinations of the League, a secretive upper-class cabal. The League has hoarded fuel oil; and it engineers a consumer strike against the coal industry — the sooty heart of the Labour Party. After a civil war, the League seizes power, dismantles trade unions, and institutes a “strong” non-parliamentary regime… all of which readers are supposed to applaud!

Fun fact: Bramah was a popular author who created the characters Kai Lung and blind detective Max Carrados. Though he called Bramah a decent and kindly (if misguided) man, George Orwell’s 1940 essay, “Predictions of Fascism”, credits The Secret of the League with having predicted the rise of fascism.


Let me know if I’ve missed any 1907 adventures that you particularly admire.


Adventure, Lit Lists