Baron Trump novels
The Baron Trump novels are two children's novels written in 1889 and 1893 by the American author and lawyer Ingersoll Lockwood. They remained obscure until 2017, when they received media attention for perceived similarities between their protagonist and U.S. President Donald Trump.
19th century publication and receptionEdit
Lockwood published the first novel, Travels and adventures of Little Baron Trump and his wonderful dog Bulger, in 1889, and its sequel, Baron Trump's Marvelous Underground Journey, in 1893. The novels recount the adventures of the German boy Wilhelm Heinrich Sebastian Von Troomp, who goes by "Baron Trump", as he discovers weird underground civilizations, offends the natives, flees from his entanglements with local women, and repeats this pattern until arriving back home at Castle Trump.
The novels were part of a trend in American children's literature that responded to the demand for fantastic adventure stories triggered by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (1865). They were however indifferently received and did not enter the canon of children's literature. An 1891 reviewer wrote about one of Lockwood's novels: "The author labors through three hundred pages of fantastic and grotesque narrative, now and then striking a spark of wit; but the sparks emit little light and no warmth, and one has to fumble for the story."
In July 2017, the books were rediscovered by Internet forum users, and then the media, who pointed out similarities between the protagonist and U.S. President Donald Trump, whose son is named Barron Trump. Jaime Fuller wrote in Politico that Baron Trump is "precocious, restless, and prone to get in trouble", often mentions his massive brain, and has a personalized insult for most people he meets. Chris Riotta noted in Newsweek that Baron Trump's adventures begin in Russia. Riotta also mentioned another book of Ingersoll's, 1900; or, The Last President, in which New York City is riven by protests following the shock victory of a populist candidate in the 1896 presidential election who brings on the downfall of the American republic.
- Fuller, Jaime (7 October 2017). "Trump Is the Star of These Bizarre Victorian Novels". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
- The Atlantic Monthly, vol. LXVII (1891), p. 131. Jaime Fuller associates this review with a Baron Trump novel, but the archives of The Atlantic indicate it was about Lockwood's apparently similar novel "Wonderful Deeds and Doings of Little Giant Boab and his Talking Raven Tabib".
- Riotta, Chris (31 July 2017). "Did an author from the 1800s predict the Trumps, Russia and America's downfall?". Newsweek.
- Lockwood, Ingersoll (20 April 2016) [First published 1896]. "1900; or, The Last President". Internet Archive.