[a handsome set] [Together, three volumes.] Translated from the French by W.H.G. Kingston. Second Edition. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1876. 3 pp undated ads in Part III. Original green cloth pictorially decorated in black and gilt.
First English Edition, second impression, of all three volumes that were sold separately but which together form one of Verne's greatest tales. The translation, unfortunately, was effected by W.H.G. Kingston, whose
translation changed the hero's name from Smith to Harding. Further, Kingston abridged or omitted many of the technical passages indicating the castaway's scientific development of the island. Verne's anti-imperialist sentiments expressed by the dying Captain Nemo were also reversed by Kingston so as not to offend English readers... Unfortunately, Kingston's became the standard translation, to this day inflicting his omissions and distortions on English-language readers. [T&M]
Sampson Low's first edition (all three volumes, dated 1875, in a variety of cloth colors) came out in September 1875. T&M records their second impression as coming out in February 1879 -- but here we have the second impression of all three volumes (with "Second Edition" on each title page), all dated 1876. The three Sampson Low first impressions seldom turn up on the market as a set, especially in the same color cloth; these second impressions, only in green, are quite scarce as well (as evidenced by T&M's not having seen them).
In any event, this is a handsome matched set of the English second impression, page edges plain (the first impression's page edges were gilded). All three volumes are in attractive, just-about-fine condition, with scarcely any external soil or wear (only the very slightest of rubbing at the edges; a few leaves at each end of each volume have light foxing); even the original delicate peach-colored endpapers are clean and uncracked. Given the extreme scarcity of the first impressions (over several decades we have offered only one set in this condition, at $22,500), this set of second impressions is highly collectible. Taves & Michaluk V013. Item #14627