Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

18 March 2012

Wilkie Collins's Prediction Was Spot On

Instead of reading the sausage machine thrillers (two of which I wrote!) that come readily on Amazon's Kindle offerings, I decided to read something serious for a change and so found Wilkie Collins's 'The Woman In White', written in 1859, on the Gutenberg Project.

My God, it's a long book; but extremely well written with meticulously correct grammar and syntax. If it was couched in today's vernacular it would be every bit as good as Amazon's best mysteries and thrillers.

I wondered about the author and so Wikipaediaed him.

Among many interesting biographical notes this one stood out: 'Collins predicted the deterrence concept of mutually assured destruction that defined the Cold War nuclear era. Writing at the time of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 he stated, "I begin to believe in only one civilising influence – the discovery one of these days of a destructive agent so terrible that War shall mean annihilation and men's fears will force them to keep the peace." '

I was born in 1933 and lived through the bombing blitz of London. Subsequently I did National Service in the RAF when the Korean War was on (I didn't go there). Since then we've had Vietnam, Iraq (twice) and many, many other spats but not one world war - that's because of the atomic bomb and the threat of mutually assured destruction.

Wilkie Collins was spot on. What a visionary!

© DON DONOVAN (Text. Images and quote from Internet and Wikipaedia)

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By Don Donovan