With Numerous Illustrations. New York: The Merriam Company, n.d. . Original dark green cloth pictorially decorated in black and white.
First American Edition of this mysterious tale taking place in the area which in just a few years would become known as Dracula's homeland. Sampson Low's London edition was published in October 1893; The Merriam Company published this first American edition, which though undated came out about a year later, in November 1894. (With the 1891 Copyright Act in place, George Munro was no longer "first out" with his pirated Verne tales.)~Mysterious things are occurring in a castle located near the village of Werst in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, Romania. The villagers are convinced that the Chort (devil) occupies the castle. Count Franz de Telek, a visitor traveling through the region, goes to the castle to investigate the disturbances for himself, when he is informed that the owner of the castle is Baron Rodolphe de Gortz. Years earlier the Baron was the Count's rival for the affections of the celebrated Italian prima donna La Stilla. The Count thought La Stilla was dead, but he sees her image and hears her voice coming from within the castle... [Kytasaari]~To quote from a contemporary New York Times review (cited in T&M)...~M. Jules Verne has the knack of it. He knows how to make the scientifically romantic story. You might not know what a "nyctalop" was, but if you saw one flapping his wings around the dark fortress in the Carpathians, you would run for it, as did Nic Deck... Orfanik is head conjurer, and in his trial he explains how he brought into play for a wicked purpose a variety of ingenious inventions.~This is a handsome volume, with the dreaded "nyctalop" occupying much of the front cover, looking something like a dragon with wings; the castle, silhouetted against the moon, also appears on both the front cover and spine.~This copy is in dark green cloth (we have also had copies in blue-grey and in maroon cloth -- no priority). It is in fine condition (endpapers slightly cracked, short tear in the margin of the frontispiece, but essentially no other wear or soil). Taves & Michaluk V039; Myers 8. Item #10639