Aristopia: A Romance-History of the New World

Castello Newton HOLFORD (1844 - 1905)


Aristopia (published 1895) is truly an alternative history. It is an imagination of how the continent of North America might have developed if one man with the vision, altruism and determination to build a state for the benefit of all its people had been in the happy position of having wealth enough to make his dream a reality.

It is an interesting book which deserves its place in literary history largely for being the first novel-length example of its genre. It is written, not as a novel, but as unvarnished history. Only a few passages seem really to catch alight with the idealistic passion of the country's founder, Ralph Morton. Those that do, however, are powerful.

Borrowing heavily from actual documents of the period such as Captain John Smith's Journal, and also from More's Utopia, Newton appears to use his book to show how the vast natural resources of the new continent could, with the vision and wealth of a man like Morton, have improved the lives of huge numbers of the poor, disenfranchised and disaffected of Europe, instead of making relatively few men very rich indeed. In keeping with the thinking of his own time, he seems not to have considered to any great extent how this would still have displaced the native inhabitants of Morton's new 'Commonwealth'. (Summary by Ruth Golding)

Genre(s): Fantastic Fiction, Historical Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Introduction Ruth Golding
00:10:22
Play 01 Chapter I Ruth Golding
00:12:33
Play 02 Chapter II Ruth Golding
00:07:57
Play 03 Chapter III Ruth Golding
00:07:38
Play 04 Chapter IV Ruth Golding
00:18:00
Play 05 Chapter V Ruth Golding
00:13:25
Play 06 Chapter VI Ruth Golding
00:13:00
Play 07 Chapter VII Ruth Golding
00:09:24
Play 08 Chapter VIII Ruth Golding
00:11:28
Play 09 Chapter IX Ruth Golding
00:16:29
Play 10 Chapter X Ruth Golding
00:13:49
Play 11 Chapter XI Ruth Golding
00:21:06
Play 12 Chapter XII Ruth Golding
00:11:12
Play 13 Chapter XIII Ruth Golding
00:12:14
Play 14 Chapter XIV Ruth Golding
00:11:53
Play 15 Chapter XV Ruth Golding
00:19:51
Play 16 Chapter XVI Ruth Golding
00:09:18
Play 17 Chapter XVII Ruth Golding
00:22:06
Play 18 Chapter XVIII Ruth Golding
00:10:18
Play 19 Chapter XIX Ruth Golding
00:13:50
Play 20 Chapter XX Ruth Golding
00:14:11
Play 21 Chapter XXI Ruth Golding
00:08:18
Play 22 Chapter XXII Ruth Golding
00:05:29
Play 23 Chapter XXIII Ruth Golding
00:08:39
Play 24 Chapter XXIV and Conclusion Ruth Golding
00:11:14