A FANTASTICAL EXCURSION INTO THE PLANETS. London: Saunders and Otley, 1839. Octavo, pp. [i-v] vi [vii] viii  2-194 [195: errata] [196-200: blank] [note: last two leaves are blanks], single leaf of publisher's ads tipped onto recto of front free endpaper, original decorated brown cloth, front and rear panels stamped in blind, printed paper label affixed to spine panel, all edges untrimmed, cream coated endpapers. First edition. Presentation copy with inscription by "the author" on recto of title leaf. Although the author's stated premise is "to excite in some young people, a desire for more real and proper instruction in astronomy, his descriptions of the planets are more fanciful than scientific. "Imagination, as a guide, takes the narrator on a tour of Mercury, Venus, the moon, Mars, Pallas, Ceres, Juno, Vesta, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. Grotesque landscapes are in some accord with scientific beliefs -- such as the mountains on the Moon and the barrenness of Mars. But all the planets are inhabited by fanciful types of men drawn from mythology! On Venus sylph-like beauties sing rapturous love-songs; on the Moon the doubles of men on Earth get up a petition against the sending of lost articles there; on barren Mars furnaces blaze with ore from the mines, being made into weapons, and Martians parade in steel-clad phalanxes; Saturn is gloomy with cypress and Lethean streams." - Bailey, Pilgrims Through Space and Time, p. 47. Howgego, Encyclopedia of Exploration: Invented and Apocryphal Narratives of Travel F2. Locke, Voyages in Space V26. Bleiler (1978), p. 6. Reginald 05025. Block, The English Novel 1740-1850, p. 72. Recipient's armorial bookplate pasted upside down on rear paste-down. Spine panel sunned, paper label chipped at edges, a tight, clean, very good copy. A rare book. (#170818).
No statement of printing.