THE STRANGE MS. BY ---, M.D. Springfield, Illinois: H. W. Rokker, Printer and Binder, 1883. Octavo, pp. [1-3] 4-336 [337-338: blank], flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated red cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black and gold, rear panel stamped in blind, decorated endpapers with floral pattern printed in brown. First edition. The first world catastrophe novel written by an American. The manuscript, written in 1881, is a prevision of what may come to pass in 1883-1884 when the Earth is struck by a comet. The polar ice caps have melted, the Earth has shifted, and most of the human race has perished. A few survivors in now arctic Kentucky flee into Canada to James Bay, where the climate is warm enough for a settlement. At this point, the narrative breaks off. "As a novel, amateurish, with period ethic humor about Blacks, but with some touches of imagination" (Bleiler). Bettersworth published one other novel, JOHN SMITH, DEMOCRAT: HIS TWO DAY'S CANVASS (SUNDAY INCLUDED) FOR THE OFFICE OF MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BUNKUMVILLE, also printed and bound by Rokker in 1877. Bleiler, Science Fiction: The Early Years 193. Bleiler (1978), p. 7. Not in Reginald (1978; 1992). Wright (III) 509. Cloth worn at edges, some soiling and mild staining to cloth, a very good copy. The text of this book is printed on wood pulp paper which is delicate but still supple. No copies reported by COPAC. The only recorded copy is in the Library of Congress. A rare book. (#157226).
No statement of printing.