Percy Greg

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Percy Greg used the pseudonym 'Lionel H. Holdreth' when writing for George Jacob Holyoake's freethinking periodical, The Reasoner, in the 1850s, and he edited the paper for a while in 1859 when Holyoake was ill. Obituary in Manchester Guardian, 30 December 1889; see also more generally, Edward Royle, Victorian Infidels (Manchester UP 1974), p. 311 and passim.

Percy Greg (7 January 1836 Bury – 24 December 1889, Chelsea), son of William Rathbone Greg, was an English writer.[1]

Percy Greg, like his father, wrote about politics, but his views were violently reactionary: his History of the United States to the Reconstruction of the Union (1887) can be said to be more of a polemic, rather than a history.

His Across the Zodiac (1880) is an early science fiction novel, said to be the progenitor of the sword-and-planet genre. For that novel, Greg created what may have been the first artistic language that was described with linguistic and grammatical terminology.[2] It also contained what is possibly the first instance in the English language of the word "astronaut".

In 2010 a crater on Mars was named Greg[3] in recognition of his contribution to the lore of Mars.[4]


  • Across the Zodiac (1880)
  • History of the United States to the Reconstruction of the Union (1887)


  1. ^ Butterworth, L. M. Angus (1980). Lancashire Literary Worthies. W. C. Henderson and Son Ltd. p. 70. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  2. ^ Ekman, F: "The Martial Language of Percy Greg", Invented Languages Summer 2008, p. 11. Richard K. Harrison Archived 2008-09-08 at the Wayback Machine, 2008
  3. ^ Greg Crater data from the International Astronomical Union
  4. ^ Blue, Jennifer, "Six New Names Approved for Features on Mars" 21 June 2010

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