The Science Fiction Author
1858 Today is the anniversary of the death of Jane Loudon, who married the prolific garden writer and publisher: John Claudius Loudon.
Jane 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 marked the beginning of her career writing Science Fiction.
In her books, Jane wrote about cultural and technological advancements that eventually came to pass. For instance, the women in her books wore pants.
In any case, her successful book The Mummy was published anonymously, in 1827, in three parts.
Now, in one of her books, Jane featured something she imagined would come to pass: a steam plow. And that concept 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.
Well, long story short and much to Loudon’s delight, Henry was Jane; they fell in love and married a year later.
The Loudons were considered high society, and they called Charles Dickens a friend.
As John and Jane grew old together, John’s arms stopped working as he grew older, after an attack of rheumatic fever. As a result, Jane became John's arms, and she handled most of his writing. And, 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 in 1843, John was dictating his last book to Jane and the book was called, A Self Instruction to Young Gardeners. Around midnight, he suddenly collapsed into Jane’s arms and died.
To honor John's memory, Jane completed the book on her own.