THYRA: A ROMANCE OF THE POLAR PIT. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1901. Octavo, pp. [1-8] 1-258 [259: blank] [260-263: ads] [264: blank], fly leaves at front and rear, seven inserted plates, five with illustrations by E. L. Blumenschein and two plans, original decorated dark blue cloth, front and spine panels stamped in gold. First edition. This binding is considered by some bibliographers to be the first binding (preceding copies in light blue cloth) although there is no evidence to substantiate this assignation. A well-known lost race novel, regarded by many to be a minor classic of the genre. A quartet of explorers in a hot-air balloon drift and crash in an unexplored part of the Arctic, where they find, in a sort of hollow earth, a Norse colony, a pit with fantastic creatures, a ghoulish system of human sacrifice, and adventures aplenty. The story also involves what one could call a lost-race-within-a-lost-race. An excellent recreation of the Nordic zeitgeist. "Bennet's description of an expedition's thrust northward from Franz Joseph Land in 1896 provided one of the most realistic passages in the genre ... THYRA pictured the full horror of Arctic exploration." - Clareson, The Emergence of American Science Fiction: 1880-1915, pp. 146-47. "One of the better early lost-race novels." - Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 171. "A masterpiece of fantasy fiction of the lost race type ... as thrilling reading today as it must have been to our grandparents." - Stuart Teitler. Angenot and Khouri, "An International Bibliography of Prehistoric Fiction," SFS, VIII (March 1981), 41. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s 062. Howgego, Encyclopedia of Exploration: Invented and Apocryphal Narratives of Travel B23a. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 31. Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, p. 124. Teitler and Locke, By the World Forgot (2013) 120. In 333. Bleiler (1978), p. 20. Reginald 01098. Slight spine lean, a bright, nearly fine copy. (#172154).
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