Item #12798 THE STAR OF THE SOUTH: A Tale of the Diamond Fields. Jules Verne.

THE STAR OF THE SOUTH: A Tale of the Diamond Fields.

[complete in Boy's Own issues] Complete in six monthly issues (26 weekly issues) of: THE BOY'S OWN PAPER. London: The "Leisure Hour" Office, November 1884 - April 1885. Original orange printed wrappers.

First Appearance in serial form of one of Jules Verne's less-known tales -- published in book form as THE SOUTHERN STAR in the US and as THE VANISHED DIAMOND in the UK.

Victor Cyprien, a French engineer currently living in the "Diamond Fields" of Griqualand, South Africa desires to marry the beautiful daughter of Mr. Watkins, a man who holds claims to the land that are the "Diamond Fields." Watkins has other plans for his daughter, which includes her staying in South Africa and marrying one of the wealthier diamond miners. To put himself in a better position to win the hand of Alice, Victor buys a share and begins working his own claim. However, Alice convinces him to return to chemistry and pursue his theory that he can synthesize a diamond. The experiment appears to work as a 243-carat diamond is created and named "The Star of the South," which he gives to Alice. When the diamond is stolen, Cyprien and three other potential suitors for the hand of Alice, travel across South Africa in pursuit of the suspected culprit. [Kytasaari]

The serialization in BOY'S OWN, with the above title, began in the weekly number of October 4, 1884; beginning with the weekly number of December 6th the title was changed to THE STAR OF THE SETTLEMENT, with a footnote allowing that the prior title "had been anticipated by a book already published"; and it ended with the number of March 28, 1885. (The monthly issues, containing four or five weekly issues plus inserted ads and a frontispiece plate not connected to the Verne novel, bear the following month's date.) Included are numerous dramatic illustrations from the original French edition. Earlier in March 1885 George Munro published his cheap wrappered edition of THE SOUTHERN STAR (a different translation than this), and in October 1885 Sampson Low published their fully-illustrated hardbound edition of THE VANISHED DIAMOND (this same translation).

All six monthly issues are complete, except that the final one lacks its color plate (they were often removed and framed by buyers); one of the other issues has two plates as required, and another has a larger (folding) color plate. Condition is very good-minus -- the main flaw being that the first issue has corner wear (bugs? mice?) of the first 18 leaves; otherwise there is just the usual relatively-minor wear of the delicate spines, with generally very little soil (at this point BOY'S OWN was still using string, not staples, so there is no staple rust). These are sizable magazines (almost 12 inches tall), so it is quite difficult to procure them in much better condition. Taves & Michaluk p. 167. Item #12798

Price: $325.00

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