MICROMEGAS: A COMIC ROMANCE. BEING A SEVERE SATIRE UPON THE PHILOSOPHY, IGNORANCE, AND SELF-CONCEIT OF MANKIND. TOGETHER WITH A DETAIL OF THE CRUSADES: AND A NEW PLAN FOR THE HISTORY OF THE HUMAN MIND. Translated from the French of M. de Voltaire. London: Printed for D. Wilson, and T. Durham, at Plato's Head, near Round-Court, in the Strand, 1753. 12mo, pp. [1-2]  2-252; collates [A]2, B-I12, K-L12, M6, rebound in full antique calf, front and rear panels tooled in blind, spine panel tooled in gold, red leather title label affixed to spine panel. First edition in English. "In Micromegas, a gigantic visitor from one of the planets of Sirius and his hardly less gigantic friend from Saturn arrive on Earth. They lift a ship out of the Baltic. Holding it in the palm of one hand, the two giants examine it through a microscope and observe the human beings aboard, with whom they talk. Rabelais was probably an influence here; Swift is also mentioned; but the inversion of having a space journey done to Earth rather than from it is characteristically Voltairean; so is the conversation. In the end, the two enormous visitors present the creatures of Earth with a volume in which, they promise, the explanation of the universe will be found. When the secretary of the Academy of Sciences in Paris opens the volume, he finds it contains nothing but blank pages." - Aldiss and Wingrove, Trillion Year Spree, pp. 85-6. "The germinal 'visitor from other planets' story ..." - Locke, Voyages in Space 013. "A very amusing work, with ideas handled brilliantly and deftly." - Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 2271. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 1-50; (1981) 1-166; and (2004) II-1195. Barron, ed., Fantasy Literature 1-87. Clute and Nicholls, eds., The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, pp. 1287-88. Gove, The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction, pp. 333-34. Lewis, Utopian Literature, pp. 197-98. Ley, Rockets, Missiles, and Space Travel (1951), p. 25. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 220. Locke, Voyages in Space (2011) V668. Negley, Utopian Literature: A Bibliography 1147. Nicolson, Voyages to the Moon, pp. 214-19. Versins, Encyclopédie de l'Utopie, des Voyages Extraordinaires et de la Science Fiction, p. 940. Bleiler (1978), p. 200. Reginald 14719. Small chip from lower corner of leaf G1 just touching the catchword patched in. A handsome copy in well-executed period binding (aged with fake ink spots!). (#153234).
No statement of printing.