THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. PART FIRST, SHIPWRECKED IN THE AIR. Jules Verne.

THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. PART FIRST, SHIPWRECKED IN THE AIR. Boston: Henry L. Shepard and Company. Successors to Shepard and Gill, 1875 [i.e. 1874]. Octavo, pp. [1-2] [1-4] 5-202 [203-204: ads], flyleaves at front and rear, 42 full-page illustrations (re-engraved after drawings by J. Ferat), original pictorial terra cotta cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black and gold, yellow coated endpapers. Possibly the first edition in English. A translation by W. H. G. Kingston (here uncredited) of L'ILE MYSTÉRIEUSE: LES NAUFRAGÉS DE L'AIR (1874). The American Catalogue dates this unauthorized Shepard edition 1874 and it definitely preceded the 310-page Scribner, Armstrong edition published in 1875 as THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND: DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS. It may have preceded the earlier 1874 Scribner, Armstrong 110-page double column edition published as THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND ... WRECKED IN THE AIR ... According to Taves and Michaluk, both Scribner, Armstrong's and Shepard's 1874 editions were published simultaneously on 24 October 1874. Regardless of which edition came first, the Shepard edition is much scarcer than the Scribner, Armstrong edition. The first part of a six-part illustrated serialization of part one of Jules Verne's "The Mysterious Island," adapted and abridged by Hawley Lee, appeared in the August 1874 issue of AMERICAN HOMES, a magazine published by Henry L. Shepard and Company. It is likely that the serialization was intended to create interest in Shepard's pirated edition of part one of THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, published in late October 1874 (a rave review of this book and scientific "wonder stories eagerly read by all men" appears in the December 1874 issue of AMERICAN HOMES). However, a few months later (May 1875), editor George Cary Eggleston, in an anonymous two-page editorial, "Jules Verne and His Work," is highly critical of Verne's "seemingly endless story" (the third part of which was then running serially in France) with its "long catalogue of minute details" and declares that there will be no more of Verne in the magazine as "there is a limit to the most voracious appetite for a mere wonder story" possessing "no human interest whatever." Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 2234. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 767. Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 19. Bleiler (1978), p. 199. Reginald 14643. Gallagher, Mistichelli and Van Eerde A33. Myers 42 (addenda, page 2). Taves and Michaluk V013. Christmas 1874 gift inscription on the the front flyleaf. Cloth lightly worn at spine ends and corner tips, slight spine lean (normal for this book), a bright, very good copy. A lovely copy of a very scarce edition of one of Verne's major and best known Voyages extraordinaires. (#160993).

Price: $2,500.00

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