Anonymous (1851) “Coming events cast their shadows before.” A history of the sudden and terrible invasion of England by the French, in the month of May, 1852, London, T. Bosworth
According to I.F. Clarke: Many feared that military weakness at home would invite attack from abroad; and for the rest of the century not a decade passed without an alarm of some kind about the dangers pressing upon the nation. After the coup d’état by Louis Napoleon, for instance, there were general fears that the French might attempt an invasion. In order to demonstrate the defenceless condition of the country an anonymous author wrote A History of the sudden and terrible invasion of England by the French … in May 1852 ( London, 1851). This was the first complete imaginary war of the future to be written in English, and it anticipated Chesney’s technique of giving a detailed account of the weaknesses that led to the disaster. [I.F. Clarke (1965) The Battle of Dorking, 1871-1914]
ESCAPING by a miracle from the sacking of London, I was employed by the paralyzed Government to take despatches from Liverpool to Washington; what the contents of these despatches have produced is an Alliance offensive and defensive, and a joint Declaration of War against France and her allies by England and the United States. In the meantime, ere hostilities commence and I am called upon to join the Great Expedition, I have amused myself, (if I may so speak on so melancholy a subject,) with writing this little account of the Invasion for my American friends. All the ludicrous incidents have been left out of the body of the pamphlet, as tending to destroy that grave attention which should always be given to Historical Narratives of this serious description.
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