William Delisle Hay

By Seth Reno and Allison Hamilton Little is known about William Delisle Hay (1853–?) apart from his published writings. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and for a time, he lived in New Zealand, which was a British colony during the Victorian era. He wrote several books on British fungi and even recorded some of his experiences in New Zealand in Brighter Britain!; Or, Settler and Maori in Northern New Zealand (1882). Hay also wrote three futuristic works of fiction: The Doom of the Great City; Being the Narrative of a Survivor, Written A.D. 1942 (1880), Three Hundred Years Hence; Or, A Voice from Posterity (1881), and Blood: A Tragic Tale (1888). Three Hundred Years Hence is a long, racist novel that imagines a socialist utopia in the year 2180 where only white people exist, having exterminated all other races. It is difficult to determine if the novel reflects Hay’s personal beliefs in a possible utopian future or if he intended the novel as a satire. Blood imagines an experimental blood transfusion between a man and a woman; the young man dies during the procedure, but his identity is transferred to the woman, and the two must share her body. There are no known details on Hay’s death, though the last year he was documented as living was 1896.

- by Allison Hamilton and Sean Reno

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