Translated by Ellen E. Frewer. Illustrated by L. Benett. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1881. 1 page undated ads (with prices in sterling). Original green cloth pictorially decorated in black and gilt.
First Illustrated Edition of this curious tale about a Chinaman, Kin-Fo, who is convinced he needs to suffer in order to appreciate true happiness -- and winds up planning to commit suicide, then contracting for someone else to kill him, then changing his mind... Dutton's edition, though dated 1881, was actually published in October 1880 -- exactly twelve months after the unillustrated edition by Lee and Shepard of Boston (dated 1880). Although this Dutton edition comes from the British sheets (including the same binding design, the same plates, and even an ad leaf for Verne's works with prices in sterling), it was published a month earlier than Sampson Low's first British edition.
This is an unusually bright, clean copy -- fine other than a little foxing only on the edges of the leaves. Taves & Michaluk V020; Myers 55. Item #10506