JOURNEY TO MARS. THE WONDERFUL WORLD: ITS BEAUTY AND SPLENDOR; ITS MIGHTY RACES AND KINGDOMS; ITS FINAL DOOM. New York: G. W. Dillingham, Publisher, Successor to G. W. Carleton & Co., 1894. Octavo, pp. [i-ii] iii-vii [viii] 9-543 [544: blank], flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated bevel-edged brown cloth, front panel stamped in silver, spine panel stamped in gold, white endpapers with floral pattern printed in green. First edition. The first of Pope's two published "Romances of the Planets," a projected series of interplanetary romances describing the exploration of the solar system by Martian scientists. Lieutenant Frederick Hamilton, a U.S. naval officer shipwrecked in the Antarctic, saves the life of a Martian prince, a member of an expedition to Earth to establish a Martian colony and communication between the two planets. The exploring party takes Hamilton to Mars where he meets Princess Suhlamia. They fall in love (they do not marry during the course of this novel or its sequel; Martian courtships are lengthy). Hamilton is imprisoned and sentenced to death by a rival suitor, the villainous Prince Diavojahr. Hamilton escapes and is reunited with Princess Suhlamia. But Mars faces a far greater peril than the consequences of the political skullduggery of the evil prince; an approaching meteor swarm and the possible fall of Phobos and Deimos onto Mars threaten the planet. A party of Martians is sent to Earth to establish a colony for millions of the doomed planet's inhabitants, but it must return before completing its mission because the dastardly Prince Diavojahr has captured the south polar spaceport and Princess Suhlamia is in danger. Nothing is resolved in this novel; Pope intentionally suspends the action in order to create interest in his sequel, A JOURNEY TO VENUS (1895). "Many of the colorful ingredients that characterized the later Martian romances of Edgar Rice Burroughs are present, such as the juxtaposition of swords and superscientific weaponry, and reflect a decayed, once advanced civilization. An idea-packed novel which some critics think inspired Burroughs's work." - Locke, Voyages in Space 162. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 2-126; (1981) 1-139; (1987) 1-76; and (1995) 1-76. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1805. Clareson, The Emergence of American Science Fiction: 1880-1915, pp. 198-202. Clareson, Science-Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 627. Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 949. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 177. Roemer, The Obsolete Necessity, p. 197. Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, p. 103. Bleiler (1978), p. 160. Reginald 11814. Wright (III) 4304. Early owner's signature (G. W. E. Goodell) on front paste-down and title page, another early signature (Edward L. Sabin?) on front flyleaf. Slight spine lean, cloth lightly worn at spine ends and corner tips, some minor spotting and scuffing to front cover, a very good copy with tight inner hinges. A fairly nice copy of an uncommon book seldom found in decent condition. (#156385).
No statement of printing.