THE LAST AMERICAN: A FRAGMENT FROM THE JOURNAL OF KHAN-LI, PRINCE OF DIMPH-YOO-CHUR AND ADMIRAL IN THE PERSIAN NAVY, PRESENTED BY J. A. MITCHELL. Edition De Luxe. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company Publishers, . Octavo, pp. [1-8] [1-2] 3-151 [152-156: blank] [note: first leaf is a blank; last two leaves are blanks used as rear free endpaper and rear paste-down], eight inserted plates with color illustrations by F. W. Read, decorations by Albert D. Blashfield and black and white illustrations by Mitchell in the text, original pictorial blue cloth, front panel stamped in yellow, red, white, and gold, spine panel stamped in gold, top edge stained yellow. Second edition, enlarged. First printing with "University Press" imprint on copyright page. Mitchell's third book, preceded by a work of nonfiction and THE ROMANCE OF THE MOON (1886), a children's fantasy. THE LAST AMERICAN is a short, clever inversion of the lost race tale just then gaining popularity, the lost race in this case being the Mehrikan people. We see America through the eyes of an admiral in the Persian navy about 1100 years in the future as an exploring party wanders through the ruins of New York City and Washington, D. C., where the detachment encounters and kills the three last Americans. Mitchell's point, aside from amusement, seems to be the danger of unrestricted immigration, which he indicates was the basic cause of America's downfall in the late twentieth century. Ultimately, American civilization is destroyed by a catastrophic change of climate, and this satire is significant as being one of the earliest SF stories to utilize the catastrophe motif. "A curious work, certainly pessimistic and bitter in substructure, yet superficially humorous in the Victorian mode." - Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1523. "... minor classic of the future ..." - Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 158. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 2-112; (1981) 1-125 ; (1987) 1-66; (1995) 1-66; and (2004) II-773. Bailey, Pilgrims Through Space and Time, p. 77. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 572. Clarke, Tale of the Future (1978), p. 21. Lewis, Utopian Literature, p. 125. Negley, Utopian Literature 796. Roemer, The Obsolete Necessity, p. 187. Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 39. Bleiler (1978), p. 141. Reginald 10184. BAL 14042. Cloth rubbed at spine ends, corner tips, and along lower edges, 20 mm closed tear to text pages 3/4 at lower edge of gutter margin, a bright, very good copy. Beautiful decorated binding with the front panel encrusted with enamel and gilt in a design suggestive of a kind of Persian baroque. (#165167).
No statement of printing on copyright page.