NIELS KLIM'S JOURNEY UNDER THE GROUND; BEING A NARRATIVE OF HIS WONDERFUL DESCENT TO THE SUBTERRANEAN LANDS; TOGETHER WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE SENSIBLE ANIMALS AND TREES INHABITING THE PLANET NAZAR AND THE FIRMAMENT. By Louis Holberg. Translated from the Danish by John Gierlow. With a Sketch of the Author's Life. Boston: Published by Saxton, Peirce & Co. New York: Saxton & Miles, 1845. Octavo, pp. [i-vii] viii-xiv [xv] xvi-xix [xx]  2-190 [191: tail piece] [192: blank], fly leaf at front, six inserted full-page lithographic plates, title page printed in red and black, original blue-gray cloth, front and rear panels stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in gold, cream endpapers. Third edition in English and first U.S. edition. The last of the three earliest translations into English, the first two (1742 and 1828) anonymous, the third (1845) made by John Gierlow. The 1828 and 1845 editions are of value because both contain added material, mainly the "Apologetic Preface," introduced by Holberg into the second Latin edition of 1745. The U.S. edition of the 1845 Gierlow translation appears to be the earliest edition published in America. Holberg's NIELS KLIM is the first important fictional use of astronomer Edmond Halley's theory (suggested in a paper to account for magnetic phenomena published by Royal Society in 1692) that the Earth (and the other planets) consisted of concentric, nested spheres surrounding a small central sun, with, possibly, openings at the poles. Holberg's satire was first published in Latin to gain a wide audience, which it did. The book was never banned in Denmark, though it was unpopular among religious powers of the time. "Essentially a satire on European culture and institutions in the guise of an imaginary voyage. It was translated into Danish not long after the Latin publication, and in Denmark its acceptance has paralleled that of Swift's GULLIVER'S TRAVELS in the English-speaking world ... Holberg's work is an obvious imitation of Swift's GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, and a comparison is called for. Holberg's satire is wider in scope, more penetrating in analysis, and less local than Swift's; the peculiarly British elements in Swift are not paralleled by Scandinavian elements in Holberg, who also lacks Swift's misanthropy. In imagination and literary polish, however, Swift is superior to Holberg." - Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1114. Aldiss and Wingrove, Trillion Year Spree, pp. 78-9. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 1-21; (1981) 1-100; (1987) 1-50; 6-346; and 6-390; (1995) 1-50; and (2004) II-536. Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 577. Costes and Altairac, Les Terres Creuses 20. Fortunati and Trousson (eds), Dictionary of Literary Utopias, pp. 459-60. Gibson and Patrick, "Utopias and Dystopias, 1500-1750" in Gibson, St. Thomas More: A Preliminary Bibliography (1961) 710. Gove, The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction, pp. 303-5. Howgego, Encyclopedia of Exploration: Invented and Apocryphal Narratives of Travel H26. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy Volume III, pp. 44-5. Negley, Utopian Literature: A Bibliography 575. Nicolson, Voyages to the Moon, pp. 226-30. Touch of wear to cloth at front corners and upper spine end, a nearly fine, quite attractive copy. (#134366).
No statement of printing.