The Science Fiction Author
Today is the birth of Jane Webb, who married the prolific writer of all things gardening: John Claudius Loudon.
Jane was special.
She was a fantastic writer in her own right, but she also possessed an inner determination; she was a survivor. When her father lost the family fortune and died penniless when Jane was only seventeen, it was the beginning of her career writing Science Fiction.
For her time, Jane uniquely wrote Science Fiction. She incorporated predictable changes in technology and society. For instance, the women in her books wear pants. In any case, her bookThe Mummy was published anonymously, in 1827, in three parts.
In her book, Jane featured something she imagined would come to pass: a steam plow. That’s what attracted the attention of John Claudius Loudon - her future husband. Loudon wrote a favorable review of her book, but he also wanted to meet the author. Loudon didn’t realize Jane had written the book using a nom de plume of Henry Colburn. Much to Loudon’s delight, Henry was Jane; they fell in love and married a year later.
The Loudons were considered high society, and their friends included Charles Dickens.
John’s arms stopped working as he grew older, after an attack of rheumatic fever. As a result, Jane became his arms, handling most of his writing. When his arms got so bad that surgeons needed to amputate his right arm, they found him in his garden, which he said he intended to return to immediately after the operation.
Two weeks before Christmas 1843, John was dictating his last book called, A Self Instruction to Young Gardeners. Around midnight, he suddenly collapsed into Jane’s arms and died.
Jane completed the book on her own.