Anatole France (Jacques Anatole François Thibault; 1844-1924. Member of the Académie Française. Awarded the Nobel Price for Literature in 1921.
Penguin Island (1908) has been called "the best social satire ever written" (Toni Ungerer). The story takes place in Antarctica, where a fictional penguin population mirrors the foibles of human beings. With the devil's help, a missionary arrives in Antartica and baptizes the local penguins. With God's help, he then turns them into human beings.
As a result, the penguins must now try to figure out how to live together and create a civilization. They experience their own barbaric Ancient Times and Middle Ages, and in their efforts to create a modern age, they undergo social conflicts and devastating wars.
Written in the spirit of rationalism and enlightenment,Penguin Island is a wickedly funny, incisive portrait of religious fanatacism.