“How many things have been denied one day, only to become realities the next!”: First Edition of Jules Verne's Classic From the Earth to the Moon
From the Earth to the Moon.
Item Number: 90462
New York: Scribner, Armstrong & Company, 1874.
First fully illustrated American edition of Verne’s science fiction classic, originally published as De la Terre a la Lune in French in 1865 and translated by Louis Mercier and Eleanor E. King. Octavo, original publisher’s terra-cotta cloth pictorially stamped in gilt and black over bevelled boards. Illustrated with 80 wood-engraved plates including tissue-guarded frontispiece. The verso of title page advertises a single Verne title, A Journey to the Centre of the Earth priced at $2.00. In near fine condition, with the spine and front panel gilt exceptionally bright. Period ownership inscription.
Jules Verne is widely held as “one of the two founding fathers of science fiction—the other being H.G. Wells” (Clute & Nicholls, 1275). Written almost a century before the flights of the astronauts, Jules Verne's prophetic novel of man's race to the stars is a classic adventure tale enlivened by broad satire and scientific acumen. From the Earth to the Moon is “the first interplanetary novel to focus on the technical and organizational preparations for the voyage, using the actual blast-off as a climax, introducing thereby a new narrative realism… And a Trip Around It continues the story by describing the experiences of the intrepid voyagers as they observe the Moon en passant before a slingshot effect hurls them earthward again. The couplet is one of the definitive foundation stones of the science fiction genre” (Barron:II:1180).