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When The Sleeper Wakes (book)

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
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Introduction

When The Sleeper Wakes is a dystopian novel by H. G. Wells, about a man who sleeps for two hundred and three years (begginning around 1900), waking up in a completely transformed London, where - because of compound interest on his bank accounts - he has become the richest man in the world.

Originally published in 1899, there was an updated edition in 1910, though only the former is available at Gutenberg.
Eugene Ipavec, 26 October 2007


The Council of Trustees

[white field]
by Eugene Ipavec, 26 October 2007

The Council of Trustees is the corporate body that manages the Sleeper's fortune and de-facto runs the world. It apparently uses a plain white flag, confusing the Victorian narrator who mistakes it for a flag of surrender (pg. 97):

"But that white flag --" "That is the flag of the Council -- the flag of the Rule of the World."
The Council is not a formal government, though; the British Empire still exists (as do the German and Russian, and the U.S.), but in a reduced, ceremonial capacity.
Eugene Ipavec, 26 October 2007

The Sleeper

[black field]
by Eugene Ipavec, 26 October 2007

The Sleeper - or rather the populist revolution launched in his name by the charismatic politician Ostrog - is represented by a plain black banner (pg. 106):

...he knew that the revolution triumphed, that black everywhere carried the day, black favours, black banners, black festoons across the streets.

Eugene Ipavec, 26 October 2007