Joshua Barnes FRS (10 January 1654 – 3 August 1712), was an English scholar. His work Gerania; a New Discovery of a Little Sort of People, anciently discoursed of, called Pygmies (1675) was an Utopian romance.
Life and work
He was born in London, the son of Edward Barnes, a merchant taylor.
One of his first publications was entitled Gerania; a New Discovery of a Little Sort of People, anciently discoursed of, called Pygmies (1675), a whimsical sketch to which Swift's Voyage to Lilliput possibly owes something. Among his other works are a History of that Most Victorious Monarch Edward III (1688), an epic work numbering 900+ pages, in which he introduces long and elaborate speeches into the narrative; editions of Euripides (1694) and of Homer (1711), also one of Anacreon (1705) which contains titles of Greek verses of his own which he hoped to publish. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in November, 1710.
Robert Ignatius Letellier considers Gerania, a work of prose fiction, to have been part of an emerging type of adventure novels. A type featuring "the imaginary voyage into alien or fictional regions". They combined first-person adventure narratives with either "satirical social observation", or perceptions of ideal human behaviour in remote lands. A tradition routed in the Utopia (1516) of Thomas More, which found prominent manifestations in The Blazing World (1666) of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and The Isle of Pines of Henry Neville. This tradition would lead to later works, such as the Robinson Crusoe (1719) of Daniel Defoe.
- LeTellier (1997), p. 186
- "Library and Archive Catalogue". Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- LeTellier (1997), Introduction p. xxxiii (33)
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Barnes, Joshua". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Letellier, Robert Ignatius (1997), The English Novel, 1660-1700: An Annotated Bibliography, Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0313303685
- "Barnes, Joshua (BNS671J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.