BLAKE OF THE "RATTLESNAKE" OR THE MAN WHO SAVED ENGLAND: A STORY OF TORPEDO WARFARE IN 189–. London: Tower Publishing Company Limited, 1895. Octavo, pp. [1-4] 5  7-269 [270: blank] [271-272: ads], sixteen inserted plates and other illustrations and diagrams in the text by Jane, original pictorial gray-green cloth, front panel stamped in red and black, spine panel stamped in gold. First edition. A presentation copy with inscription by Jane on the front free endpaper: "To / J. Blowdell-Burton Esq. / in memoriam / 'C' fleet, 1890 / with / Fred T. Jane's / compliments. / Nov -- 1895." The first of Jane's four scientific romances. An account of future sea warfare by a naval authority and future compiler of yearly catalogues of ships and aircraft. "War against France and Russia in torpedo-carrying ships, with love melodrama around hero. He dies saving England, after her fleet has been destroyed because of coal miners' strike. Bloody-minded anti civilian militarism." - Suvin, Victorian Science Fiction in the UK, p. 61. "I would say one final word to those who object to these 'future war yarns,' on the grounds that they are likely to set other nations, at present friendly to us, by the ears. Foreign writers are frequently turning out similar stories, describing the utter destruction of the British Navy by their own; yet I never heard of any of us bearing them ill-will for it. May our Warfare of the Future long be confined to the pages of books; as, indeed, it will be, so long as foreign nations know that we are ready to tackle the lot of them if need be." - (from the author's "preface") The author's illustrations are quite interesting from an artistic point of view and, especially in the scenes of nocturnal combat, have an impressionistic quality, a touch of Turner. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1171. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 443. Clarke, Tale of the Future (1978), p. 21. Clarke, Voices Prophesying War: Future Wars 1763-3749 (1992), p. 77 and p. 230. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 122. Stableford, Scientific Romance in Britain 1890-1950, p. 130. Bleiler (1978), p. 109. Reginald 07833. Cloth lightly worn at spine ends and corner tips, gold lettering on spine panel a bit dull, a clean, tight, very good copy. (#170833).
No statement of printing.