CERTAINE SELECT DIALOGUES OF LUCIAN: TOGETHER WITH HIS TRUE HISTORIE, Translated from the Greeke into English by Mr Francis Hickes. Whereunto is Added the Life of Lucian Gathered Out of His Owne Writings, with Briefe Notes and Illustrations Upon Each Dialogue and Booke, by T. H. Mr of Arts of Christ-Church in Oxford. Oxford: Printed by William Turner, 1634. Small quarto, pp. [1-8] [1-8] 1-196; collates A4-I4, K4-T4, V4, X4-Z4, Aa4-Cc4, modern black buckram. First Hickes edition of the DIALOGUES and first edition in English of Lucian's "True Historie." Includes "Lucian His True Historie" and "Icaromenippus, or the Loftie Traveller" (also known as "Above the Clouds"), as well as other fantastic dialogues and pieces. Lucian's "Verae Historiae," dating from the 2nd century A.D., is the "... earliest surviving interplanetary romance; a satire in which a sailing ship's crew is carried by a whirlwind to an inhabited moon." - Locke, Voyages in Space 002. Lucian is a major proto figure for fantasy, not only for his "True Historie," but also for "Icaromenippus" and other fantastic dialogues and pieces collected here. Lucian "was one of the first great fantasists, producing material that was knowingly fiction, satirizing the old gods but using supernatural plot devices. His most important works were his Dialogues, a form he derived from Plato (427-347 BC); they have been imitated by scores of writers from the 15th century on ... His Menippus sequence, 'Menippus' (also known as 'Necyomantia') and 'Icaromenippus,' shows an old philosopher endeavouring to discover the meaning and realities of life, first through discussions with the dead in the underworld and then with the gods on Olympus ... In 'Charon' the ferryman over the Styx leaves the underworld to explore life. It is perhaps Lucian's most expressive form of reverse perception, again highlighting the pettiness of humanity ... Others of Lucian's Dialogues are more philosophical than fantastic, although in 'Gallo' ['The Cock;' also known as 'The Dream'] a cobbler is rendered invisible by a cock's magic tail feathers so he can spy on the rich and discover they are less happy than he ... Lucian's most famous work is 'Verae Historiae' ['True History'], which takes its intrepid voyagers to the Moon and past the Sun as well as to many distant islands; it is a parody of the travellers' tales that were already multitudinous in Lucian's day ... Lucian's works were translated into Latin by Erasmus (1466-1536) and later writers, and were a significant influence on Francois Rabelais, Sir Thomas More (1478-1535), Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655), Jonathan Swift and others." - Clute and Grant (eds), The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997). pp. 597-98. "The Lucianic Dialogue of greatest science fiction interest is the 'Icaromenippus,' in which Menippus ... acquires a pair of wings and flies first to the Moon ... and second to Olympus ... Though less important, the prose fictions are vital proto science fiction. The 'True History' -- taking off from the numerous unlikely travellers' tales that proliferated at the time -- is an extremely enjoyable and frequently scatological debunking exercise ... With regard to fantasy and the spirit of romance, the 'True History' is detumescent. Its influence extends to Francois Rabelais and Jonathan Swift ... Lucian is vital to that somewhat problematic line of descent of prose fictions which leads eventually to what we might legitimately think of as science fiction proper. Though he has often been misunderstood as being himself a romancer, he was in fact a consistent (and often savage) debunker of the idiom and ideals of romance. His attitude to the fantastic voyages of his supposed descendants would not have been that of the typical proud father." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 740. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1377. Howgego, Encyclopedia of Exploration: Invented and Apocryphal Narratives of Travel L50. Nicolson, Voyages to the Moon, pp. 14-5. STC 16893. Ley, Rockets, Missiles, and Space Travel (1951), pp. 9-11. Hoffmann II, 564. Text block darkened, small rust hole in C1 slightly affecting several letters of text, small chips from lower inner corners of leaves Aa1-Aa4, no text affected, overall a very good copy. A desirable and rare edition of the DIALOGUES; only one copy (this one) has sold at public auction during the last thirty-five years. (#96135).
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