Verne, Jules. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.

Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, [1872] Despite bearing 1873 date on title page..

First American edition, first issue with points as called for. 8vo. 303pp. Publisher’s royal blue cloth gilt, with gilt and black titles and decoration to spine and front board, bearing the jellyfish vignette design. Minor scuffing and edgewear, some fraying and softening to spine ends, bright, sharp and tight, a very good copy indeed. Internally clean, net professional repair to inner hinges, brown endpapers, frontispiece with tissue guard. Illustrated throughout in that manner so typical of Verne titles in English: as if steel engraving was about to be made punishable by death, and all the artists desperately wanted to go out with an orgiastic bang. I’m never quite sure how I feel when books are described as extremely rare as a result of some disaster or other (most of the print run of this First American edition is said to have burned up in the Boston fire of November 1872), it always seems a bit like the kind of thrilling story we all want to be able to tell about our books. Legend has it, however, that fewer than 100 copies of this printing survived to end up in the hands of booksellers, collectors and libraries, so fair play to this rather attractive volume having made it this far. A lovely copy of the book that has everything; submarines, irascible genii, coral reef burials, sharks, whalers, international terrorism, piracy, and more prescient technological surmise than you can shake a pneumatic spear gun at. Scarce, and attractive.

[Ref: 750]


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