THE VIOLET FLAME: A STORY OF ARMAGEDDON AND AFTER. London, New York and Melbourne: Ward, Lock & Co., Limited, 1899. Octavo, pp. [i-v] vi [vii-viii]  2-245 [246: printer's imprint] [247-248: ads], sixteen inserted plates with illustrations by Jane, original dark green cloth, front and spine panels stamped in gold, all edges untrimmed. First edition. A remarkable turn-of-the-century science fiction thriller about the attempt of a mad scientist to control the world by tampering with the molecular structure of the universe which results in the near total annihilation of mankind. "...the last and wildest of his fantasies... Possibly inspired by Cromie's The Crack of Doom (1895), this 'story of Armageddon and after' throws together several fabulous motifs: the super-scientist who tries to blackmail the world; an impending cometary strike; the last survivors of the catastrophe becoming a new Adam and Eve. All this is further complicated by the transmutation of elements and the revelation that the heavenly bodies are living and intelligent. After this, it seems, Jane's attention was wholly absorbed by more serious projects-though it may be that there was simply no way to follow a story as incredibly eventful as this one."- Stableford, Scientific Romance in Britain 1890-1950, p. 130. "World peril in the mode of George Griffith... The final image is very powerful. Highly imaginative, but presented in an amateurish fashion. It is regrettable that Jane abandoned thrillers for navies, for despite certain literary weaknesses (which might have been outgrown) he had much more to say than did the prolific George Griffith."- Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1180. Anatomy of Wonder (1981) 1-106 and (2004) II-565. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 446. Clarke, Tale of the Future (1978), p. 25. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 122. Locke, Voyages in Space (2011) V 394. Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 77. Bleiler (1978), p. 109. Reginald 07836. Cloth a bit spotted and soiled, endpapers darkened, inner front hinge a bit tender, still a sound, bright, very good copy. (#165820).
No statement of printing.