There are novels which include political-fiction scenarios that are worthy of attention, not least for the light they cast on topical questions — in this case the issue of Brexit. One such is Daphne du Maurier’s Rule Britannia (1972), which was published in French translation as Mad, after the name of the famous actress who has retired to Cornwall and in whose life a strange drama plays itself out in the year 2000.
Following a referendum, Britain has decided to leave the European Community and finds itself facing a grave economic, social and political crisis. The Prime Minister hopes to find a happy outcome by forming an alliance with the United States — the USUK — later to be joined by Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and which, after the failure of the European project, is expected to bring genuine global supremacy. However, following a number of setbacks, including the Americans’ decision to turn the West coast into one huge theme park running from North Wales to Cornwall, the British people rise in rebellion against the US Marines, and the USUK ends in a bloodbath… A number of extracts from this remarkable novel are reprinted here.