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F. Anstey, pseudonym of Thomas Anstey Guthrie Biography

(1856–1934), pseudonym of Thomas Anstey Guthrie, Vice Versa, Punch, Voces Populi

punch novels fantasy stories

British writer, born in London, educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and trained for the Bar. A prolific author of novels of humour and fantasy, he is best known for his first book, Vice Versa (1882), which was filmed by Peter Ustinov and televised; subtitled ‘A Lesson to Fathers’, the novel concerns a father, Mr Bultitude, who adopts the age and persona of his son (and vice versa) and suffers comically the tortures of a child at boarding school. From 1887 Anstey was associated with Punch, in which most of his comic sketches first appeared; these were subsequently collected in volumes such as Voces Populi (1890) and Mr Punch's Pocket Ibsen (1893). His stories and novels of fantasy and science fiction, including The Tinted Venus (1885), A Fallen Idol (1886), Tourmanlin's Time Cheques (1891), The Brass Bottle (1900), and In Brief Authority (1915), in which Anstey amusingly undercut the assumptions of his world, still give pleasure. The stories in The Black Poodle (1884) and The Talking Horse (1892) are similarly humorous. His autobiography, A Long Retrospect, appeared in 1936.

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