THE GREEN RAY.
Translated from the French by Mary de Hauteville. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1883. 32 pp ads dated Nov 1882. Original ochre cloth pictorially decorated in brown, black and green.
First British Edition (and first edition in English). This tale is a bit different from many of Verne's -- a love story sited in Scotland, though as always with its share of scientific imponderables (a girl refuses to marry the man her uncles have chosen for her unless she sees the mysterious "green ray," which would tell her it is true love). The front cover shows Helena and Oliver with eyes fixed upon one another, while the crowd behind them has all eyes fixed upon "the green ray." This British edition was published in September 1883 -- a month before George Munro's pirated version in his wrappered "Seaside Library"; there was no American hardbound edition of this Verne tale until 1965.
In our experience THE GREEN RAY is one of the very few toughest UK first editions of Jules Verne to find today: why we do not know, but several others that followed THE GREEN RAY are close in scarcity (KERABAN THE INFLEXIBLE of 1884, MATHIAS SANDORF of 1886, A LOTTERY TICKET of 1886, THE CLIPPER OF THE CLOUDS of 1887, NORTH AGAINST SOUTH of 1887, THE PURCHASE OF THE NORTH POLE of 1890, A FAMILY WITHOUT A NAME of 1890, and FOUNDLING MICK of 1895).
This copy is in ochre cloth; the one other color we have seen is mauve-grey -- both with the same pictorial design (mauve-grey we have seen both with and without gilt pages edges; ochre we have seen only without, as here). The ad catalogue in this copy is dated November 1882 -- almost a year before publication -- which is the earliest GREEN RAY ad catalogue we have seen (the others being Sept 1883 and Oct 1884). This is a very good copy, quite attractive externally but recased within its original binding (with stiffened spine, and with black tape along the original endpapers' hinges; there is an 1899 school prize inscription on the front endpaper verso. Taves & Michaluk V023; Myers 31. Item #10606