Literary Works

Works here are listed chronologically. To see a list by author see Stories by Author.


1913, Shiel, M.P. , The Dragon 

M.P. Shiel (1913) The Dragon, London, Grant Richards. First published 1 January-15 March 1913 Red Magazine as "To Arms!". Republished in 1929 as The Yellow Peril. The Dragon. By M. P. Shiel. (Grant Richards. 6s.)— The motive of this book is exactly the same as that of Mr. Shiel's former novel, "The Yellow Danger," that is, the invasion of Europe by the combined forces of the Chinese and Japanese. The working-out of the book, however, is very different from that of its predecessor, the hero being no less a personage than the then Prince of Wales. As George V. is ...
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1913, Strang, H. , The Air Patrol 

Herbert Strang (1913) The Air Patrol An adventure story for juveniles. Herbert Strang was the pseudonym of two English authors, George Herbert Ely (1866–1958) and Charles James L'Estrange (1867–1947). They specialized in writing adventure stories for boys. [Wikipedia] PREFACE It needs no gift of prophecy to foretell that in the not distant future the fate of empires will be decided neither on land nor on the sea, but in the air. We have already reached a stage in the evolution of the aeroplane and airship at which a slight superiority in aircraft may turn the scale in battle. Our imperial ...
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1913, Wallace, E. , Private Selby 

Edgar Wallace (1913) Private Selby A thriller about a German invasion based on Wallace's experience of the Boer War. According to SFE it was originally published in 1912 in The Sunday Journal (from March 1912). Full text at: Europeana ...
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1914, Conan Doyle, A. , Danger! and Other Stories 

The Riddle by Maldwin Drummond (1985) Nautical Books, London This is the definitive study of the background to the writing of The Riddle of the Sands. It includes details of Childers own sailing experiences and also a detailed account of the reception afforded the book in official circles and Childers involvement in this. Since 1904 The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers has been the best known tale of yachting fiction in the English language. It has been continuously in print in numerous editions, has been the subject of a motion picture and has generated scores of articles and ...
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1914, Graves, A.K. , The Secrets of the German War Office 

Dr. Armgaard Karl Graves (1914) The Secrets of the German War Office Purported to be a true story it reads more like an imaginative attempt to capitalise upon spy fever.  [see contemporary review] The average man or woman has only a hazy idea what European Secret Service and Espionage really means and accomplishes. Short stories and novels, written in a background of diplomacy and secret agents, have given the public vague impressions about the world of spies. But this is the first real unvarnished account of the system; the class of men and women employed; the means used to obtain ...
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1914, Newton W. D. , War 

W. Douglas Newton (1914) War Published on the eve of war it describes an invasion (of Britain but not made explicit) by an enemy (Germany but not made explicit) There is a good overview at Great War Fiction at: http://greatwarfiction.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/war-by-w-douglas-newton/ Newton's novel has no particular literary merit, and author and book are alike forgotten. [Samuel Hynes (1968) Edwardian Turn Of Mind, p.50] Preface: THIS book will be called sensational and disgusting. That is precisely what it is, because it is an account of the sensational and disgusting thing called War ; at least it is an account of a few ...
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1914, Palmer, F. , The Last Shot 

F. Palmer (1914) The Last Shot Frederick Palmer (January 29, 1873 - September 2, 1958) was an American journalist and writer. 1914—The Last Shot—a novel about a fictional major European war, from the point of view of a small set of soldiers and civilians. Written before the start of World War I. [Wikipedia] Introduction: This story of war grew out of my experience in many wars. I have been under fire without fighting; known the comradeship of arms without bearing arms, and the hardships and the humors of the march with only an observer's incentive. A singular career, begun by ...
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1914, Wells, H.G. , The World Set Free 

H.G. Wells (1914) The World Set Free Preface: H. G. WELLS. EASTON GLEBE, DUNMOW, 1921. THE WORLD SET FREE was written in 1913 and published early in 1914, and it is the latest of a series of three fantasias of possibility, stories which all turn on the possible developments in the future of some contemporary force or group of forces. The World Set Free was written under the immediate shadow of the Great War. Every intelligent person in the world felt that disaster was impending and knew no way of averting it, but few of us realised in the earlier ...
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1915, Buchan, J. , The Thirty-Nine Steps 

John Buchan (1915) The Thirty-Nine Steps, Backwoods Magazine (Aug/Sep 1915) and William Blackwood & Sons (Oct 1915) Although published in 1915 Buchan started writing the story in August 1914 while convalescing and it is set prior to the First World War. It can be considered as a cross between an adventure story, a detective novel and a spy story, but Richard Hannay, the main protagonist, is seen as the precursor of the gentleman adventurer / spy. Geoffrey Powell, in a 1985 article in History Today, states that "The undercover spying mission of a British officer disguised as a Boer in ...
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1915, Münch, P. G. , Hindenburg’s Einmarsch in London 

Paul Georg Münch (1915) Hindenburgs Einmarsch in London London falls to a German army led by Hindenburg. Full German Text at: https://archive.org/details/hindenburgseinma00mnch Hindenburg's March into London: Being a Translation from the German Original (London: John Long, 1916) tranlateds by Louis G Redmond-Howard ...
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1916, Dixon, T. , The Fall of a Nation

Thomas Dixon, The Fall of a Nation: A Sequel to The Birth of a Nation, 1916 A warning story about an invasion of America by a prominent White Supremacist. The Fall of a Nation, a Sequel to The Birth of a Nation, is an invasion literature novel by Thomas Dixon Jr. Dixon described it as "a burning theme, our need of preparation to defend ourselves in the world war." First published by D. Appleton & Company in 1916, Dixon directed a film version released the same year. The film is now considered lost. [Wikipedia] Details of the film are available ...
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1916, Hancock, H. I. , Conquest of the United States (Series) 

H. Irving Hancock (1916) Conquest of the United States - a series comprising four books: The Invasion of the United States, or Uncle Sam's Boys at the Capture of Boston In the Battle for New York, or Uncle Sam's Boys in the Desperate Struggle for the Metropolis At the Defense of Pittsburgh, or The Struggle to Save America's "Fighting Steel" Supply Making the Stand for Old Glory, or Uncle Sam's Boys in the Last Frantic Drive All set around 1920 and depicting the Invasion of the USA by a Germany which has already won the Great War in Europe.  [more ...
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1916, Le Queux, W. , The Zeppelin Destroyer 

William Le Queux (1916) The Zeppelin Destroyer - Being Some Chapters of Secret History, London, Hodder and Stoughton ........... Then, as was my habit, I went on to the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, and, after my meal, sat in the window of the big smoking-room chatting with three of the boys—airmen all of them. George Selwyn, a well-known expert on aircraft and editor of an aircraft journal, had been discussing an article in that morning’s paper on the future of the airship. “I contend,” he said firmly, “that big airships are quite as necessary to us as they ...
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1917, Conan Doyle, A. , His Last Bow. 

Arthur Conan Doyle (1917) His Last Bow. The War Services of Sherlock Holmes - Strand Magazine, September 1917 and in book form in a collection of stories: His Last Bow: Some Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes, John Murray, October 1917 Although falling slightly outside my time-frame this story is included as it marks a distinctive difference between what can be classified as detective novels, which covers most Sherlock Holmes stories, and spy novels and falling clearly into the latter genre. It also marks the end of the Sherlock Holmes era so deserves inclusion on that score alone. Synopsis [Wikipedia]: On the ...
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1920, Le Queux, W. , Secrets of the Foreign Office 

William Le Queux (1920) Secrets of the Foreign Office: Describing the Doings of Duckworth Drew of the Secret Service Secrets of the Foreign Office was first published in 1903. The author, William Le Queux, (pronounced 'Q'), was one of the first creators of the spy story. A journalist-turned-author, he successfully combined his passionate interest in national security and new technological developments, with his detailed knowledge of travel and high society in Europe, in these and other collections of short stories of intrigue and espionage. In this book Mr Drew receives instructions from the Marquis of Macclesfield, the Secretary of State ...
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1920, Le Queux, W. , The Terror of the Air 

William Le Queux (1920) The Terror of the Air A few short years ago such a story as would have been characterised as wildly improbable if not absolutely impossible. But “today” we are well into the Aerial Age. Such a great pirate aircraft as Mr. Le Queux imagines is by no means beyond the realms of possibility, and a story such as he tells must cause thoughtful people to realise very forcibly the immense power which command of the air gives. The author describes vividly how the great pirate aeroplane terrorised the world, destroying aircraft and shipping, bombing London, New ...
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1929, Gibbons, F. , The Red Napoleon

Outside the main scope of this website but an interesting novel from 1929 that shows that invasion literature continued into the inter-war years. The Red Napoleon is a 1929 novel by Floyd Gibbons predicting a Soviet conquest of Europe and invasion of America. The novel contains strong racial overtones such as expressed fear of the yellow peril and of inter-racial breeding. However, the characters expressing these views are exposed in the text as being bigoted and ill-informed, as is one of the main U.S. character's views of the Soviet Union's free-love-but-with-male-accountability laws. The Red Napoleon was published in 1929 and ...
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