or, The Child of the Cavern. Translated by W. H. G. Kingston. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, n.d.[by 1883]. Original brown cloth pictorially decorated in black and gilt.
First American hardbound edition of this supernatural tale sited deep in a Scottish mine. Per Kingston's introduction, Verne
has called into existence a mine of fabulous wealth, and has placed in it a mysterious being endowed with superhuman powers, who performs wonders unsurpassed in the present prosaic age.
Quoting also from T&M,
The unusually attractive front cover shows the supreme moment when old Silfax, standing with arms raised in a small boat in Loch Malcolm, calls Harfang the bird to ignite the explosive gas trapped under the cavern ceiling.
This tale's first publication in English was in the Spring of 1877, THE BLACK INDIES in George Munro's self-wrappered "Seaside Library." The British authorized edition, THE CHILD OF THE CAVERN, fully illustrated, was issued later that year. The publication date of this Porter & Coates edition is uncertain (Myers cites "[1878?]", while T&M states simply that it had to have been sometime before October 1883); however, it is regarded as the first illustrated (and first hardbound) American edition, as T&M cites no other such American edition earlier than 1888 (and that too was by Porter & Coates). Although P&C published numerous later-printings of Verne tales from the Osgood plates it bought, UNDERGROUND CITY is the only Verne "first" published by Porter & Coates.
This copy is in brown cloth; we have also had terra-cotta (no priority). It is a bright, near-fine copy (trifling wear at the tips, front endpaper with small edge-chips, a few signatures slightly proud) of this attractively-bound book. Rather uncommon. Taves & Michaluk V017; Myers 10. Item #13862