- ANSTEY, F.
- Pseudonym of Thomas Anstey Guthrie (1856-1934), UK writer and humorist, best known for his many contributions to the magazine Punch and for his classic satirical fantasies, most of which follow the pattern of introducing some magical item into contemporary society, with chaotic consequences. These were widely imitated by many writers, including R.ANDOM, W.D.Darlington (1890-1979) and Richard Marsh (1857-1915), and thus became the archetypes of a distinctive subgenre of Ansteyan fantasies. In his most successful work, Vice Versa, or A Lesson to Fathers (1882; rev 1883), a Victorian gentleman and his schoolboy son exchange personalities; the novel has to date been twice filmed and at least twice adapted as a tv serial. In The Tinted Venus (1885) a young man accidentally revives the Roman goddess of love, and in A Fallen Idol (1886) an oriental deity exerts a sinister influence on a young artist. The protagonist of The Brass Bottle (1900) acquires the services of a djinn; a stage version is The Brass Bottle: A Farcical Fantastic Play (1911). In Brief Authority (1915) reverses the pattern, with a Victorian matron established as queen of the Brothers Grimm's M-rchenland. FA's work comes closest to sf in Tourmalin's Time Cheques (1891; vt The Time Bargain), one of the earliest TIME-PARADOX stories. The anonymously published The Statement of Stella Maberley, Written by Herself (1896) is an interesting story of abnormal PSYCHOLOGY. Other works: The Black Poodle and Other Tales (coll 1884); The Talking Horse (coll 1891); Paleface and Redskin, and Other Stories for Girls and Boys (coll 1898); Only Toys! (1903), for children; Salted Almonds (coll 1906); Percy and Others (coll 1915), the first 5 stories in which feature the adventures of a bee; The Last Load (coll 1928); Humour and Fantasy (coll 1931).
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.