Item #15230 TOPSY TURVY. Jules Verne.


New York: J.S. Ogilvie, n.d. [1890]. 1 page preliminary ads plus 2 pp terminal ads. Original dark blue-green cloth.

First American Edition (and first edition in the English language). This is the sequel to Verne's "Moon" books of many years earlier: quoting from the preliminary ad leaf, this is the story of "How the Americans bought the North Pole and planned to change the axis of the Earth, making the Arctic regions bloom like the Tropics, by the explosion of a stupendous cannon." This tale is a good example of Verne's growing cynicism: whereas in the 1870s he has the Baltimore Gun Club using its gigantic cannon to explore the moon, here the club has purchased land in the Arctic so that they can reap huge profits when that land becomes tropical.

"Topsy Turvy" appeared in English in the January 19, 1890 issue of New York World -- at the same time as that newspaper's famous reporter, Nellie Bly, was attempting to beat Phileas Fogg's record time around the world. It was at some point soon thereafter that this Ogilvie edition (No. 183 of "The Favorite Series") with ten illustrations was published (the wrappered version, in Ogilvie's "Fireside Series," is dated January 1890 on its wrapper). Sampson Low's British edition, THE PURCHASE OF THE NORTH POLE, was not published until December of that year (with twenty chapters; both the original French edition and Ogilvie's edition have twenty-one).

This copy is externally clean and unworn (a bit of faint speckling on the rear cover) -- near-fine, with minor wormhole damage to the fore-margin of about forty leaves (text not affected). As always, the text paper itself is browned and brittle -- as Ogilvie produced as cheap a book as it could, not intended to survive; today this is quite an uncommon Verne volume. Taves & Michaluk V035; Myers 53. Housed in a morocco-backed clamshell case. Item #15230

Price: $2,350.00

See all items by