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  • Martyn Rhys Vaughan

Bishop Godwin's Trip To The Moon


Bishop Francis Godwin (1562 - 1633) wrote an early tale of Lunar exploration towards the end of his life. Godwin was the Bishop of Llandaff in Wales, before moving on to Hereford in England. It is known as, using the original spelling, "Man In The Moone".

His story covers the exploits of a Spanish Soldier of Fortune, Domingo Gonsales, who is marooned on the island of St. Helena. Ther he discovers a breed of geese that can carry heavy loads. He constructs a frame in which he can sit whilst being propelled by the geese.

However, unknown to Gonsales the geese have a habit of wintering on the Moon and the adventure, against his will, is taken there.

On the Moon, he finds a single civilisation of Lunarians who follow a form of Christianity and have a single musical language in which meaning is conveyed by tonal variations.

The Lunarians have a habit of swapping their own fractious children with well-behaved ones from Earth.

However, after some of his geese die Gonsales feels he will be traped on the Moon and returns to Earth where he makes planet-fall in China.

The last we hear of him is that he is discussing with Jesuits how to get his story published.

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