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Robida, Albert

Albert Robida Albert Robida (14 May 184811 October 1926) was a French illustrator, etcher, lithographer, caricaturist, and novelist. He edited and published La Caricature magazine for 12 years. Through the 1880s he wrote an acclaimed trilogy of futuristic novels. In the 1900s he created 520 illustrations for Pierre Giffard's weekly serial La Guerre Infernale 1).

He was born in Compiègne, France, the son of a carpenter. He studied to become a notary, but was more interested in caricature. In 1866 he joined Journal amusant as an illustrator. In 1880, with Georges Decaux, he founded his own magazine La Caricature, which he edited for 12 years. He illustrated tourist guides, works of popular history, and literary classics. His fame disappeared after World War I 2).

Albert Robida was rediscovered thanks to his trilogy of futuristic works:

  • Le Vingtième Siècle (1883)
  • La Guerre au vingtième siècle (1887)
  • Le Vingtième siècle. La vie électrique (1890). You can read this book online through the Gutenberg Project.

Paris by Albert Robida

These works drew comparison to Jules Verne. Unlike Verne, he proposed inventions integrated into everyday life, not creations of mad scientists, and he imagined the social developments that arose from them, often with accuracy: social advancement of women, mass tourism, pollution, etc. His La Guerre au vingtième siècle describes modern warfare, with robotic missiles and poison gas. His Téléphonoscope was a flat screen television display that delivered the latest news 24-hours a day, the latest plays, courses, and teleconferences 3).

Kârinh reads in the Tube books of Robida. Through her dreams she returns to the world of Paris as described by Robida in Le Vingtième siècle. La vie électrique 4). His flying objects and Téléphonoscope can be found in Revoir Paris.