Four Encounters is an unfinished work by the writer and philosopher Olaf Stapledon, written in the late 1940s but only published 26 years after the author's death. It takes place in contemporary (post World War II) Britain, and describes four meetings with various characters who are named for the spiritual quality that best defines them: a Christian, a scientist, a mystic and a revolutionary. There were originally to have been ten encounters, but Stapledon died before the project was completed.
Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950) was born near Liverpool and educated at Balliol College, Oxford and Liverpool University. After spending eighteen months working in a shipping office in Liverpool and Port Said, he lectured extramurally for Liverpool University in English Literature and industrial history. He served in France from 1915 until 1919 with the Friends' Ambulance Unit and then lectured again for Liverpool University in psychology and philosophy. His novels include First and Last Men, Last Men in London, Star Maker and Odd John.