Napoleon of Notting Hill


By G. K. Chesterton

cover image of Napoleon of Notting Hill

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The Napoleon of Notting Hill is the first novel by G. K. Chesterton. It achieved a phenomenal success when it was first published in 1904. The story is of a futuristic nature with a combination of parody and Chesterton's usual British humor. The events take place in 1984 after one man named Auberon Quinn has become the ruler of the country. Tired of the hackneyed mechanisms of capitalism and the counterproductive effects of science and advancement, Quinn decides to satisfy his personal nostalgia for the past by bringing London back to medieval times. He engages in the revival of past life styles, customs and laws. The eponymous hero is not Quinn, however. It is rather another citizen named Adam Wayne who takes the city's transformation too seriously and decides to form the army of Notting Hill. The role of the army is to ward off the attacks of invaders attacking from outside. Later, people appreciate the idea and join this modern-day Napoleon in his enterprise. Despite the philosophical and political overtones of the idea suggested by the author, the overall atmosphere of the novel is generally an atmosphere of delight and humor.

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Napoleon of Notting Hill