THE COMICAL HISTORY OF THE STATES AND EMPIRES OF THE WORLDS OF THE MOON AND SUN. Written in French by Cyrano Bergerac. And newly Englished by A. Lovell, A.M. London: Printed for Henry Rhodes, next door to the Swan-Tavern, near Bride-Lane, in Fleet-Street, 1687. Octavo, two parts in one volume [as issued]: pp. [1-8] 1-140 [141-142: blank] [1-2] 1-206 [207: errata] [208: blank], engraved frontispiece by F. H. van Hove, eighteenth-century calf, front, spine and rear panels tooled in gold, black leather spine label titled in gold, inner dentelles, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. First combined edition in English of Cyrano's HISTOIRE COMIQUE DES ETATS ET EMPIRES DE LA LUNE (1657) and HISTOIRE COMIQUE DES ETATS ET EMPIRES DU SOLEIL (1662). This is also the first edition in English of HISTOIRE ... DU SOLEIL (1662). The Moon voyage was written before 1650, probably in 1648 or 1649, and was circulated in manuscript prior to publication in 1657, two years after Cyrano's death. The published version was censored (to tone down the heretical elements) by Cyrano's friend Henri le Bret. Neither of the two seventeenth-century English-language translations (the other was a translation of the Moon voyage by Thomas St. Serf published in 1659) represent Cyrano. "In the early twentieth century two manuscripts of the lunar voyage surfaced, offering Cyrano's own text, which is far superior to Le Bret's. These manuscripts, which differ only in occasional details, have served as the basis for the Aldington and Strachan translations." - Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 542. The manuscript of the voyage to the Sun is lost, and the only extant version is the possibly corrupt text first published in LE NOUVELLES OEUVRES DE MONSIEUR DE CYRANO BERGERAC (Paris: Charles de Sercy, 1662). Cyrano's HISTOIRE COMIQUE is one of the earliest classics of science fiction and was historically important in the development of the lunar voyage. "... the most brilliant of all seventeenth-century parodies of the cosmic voyage." - Nicolson, Voyages to the Moon, p. 159. "Cyrano's ingenious mixture of science and romance has furnished a model for many subsequent writers, among them Swift and E. A. Poe." - Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th edition) Vol, VII, p, 702. "... the first writer to describe an interplanetary journey by means of rockets ... He is a very sharp satirist and his tale abounds with amusing attacks on religion, contemporary scientific theory, philosophy, customs and mores ... Throughout the development many small points are based on Cyrano's interpretation or extrapolation of the day. The book is thus science-fiction of its period. A remarkable book that deserves wider readership than it has received." - Bleiler, ibid. Aldiss and Wingrove, Trillion Year Spree, pp. 73-5. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 1-12; (1981) 1-52; (1987) 1-12; (1995) 1-12; and (2004) II-295. Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, p. 291. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy Volume II, p. 37. Versins, Encyclopédie de l'Utopie, des Voyages Extraordinaires, et de la Science Fiction, pp. 217-19. Bleiler (1978), p, 55. Wing C7717. Early owner's signature on title page. Edges rubbed, recently rebacked with original spine laid down, lower margin of frontispiece trimmed, several small stains to first four leaves, some darkening to fore-edges, largely preliminary and terminal leaves, generally a very good copy. (#147499).
No statement of printing.