Or, The Pearl of the Pacific. New and Cheaper Edition. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, n.d. Original grey-blue cloth pictorially decorated in black, dark blue and peach.
"New and Cheaper Edition," which is an early-but-not first impression of the first British edition. This tale had been advertised as SCREW ISLAND until its title was changed just before initial British publication in October 1896 (the French title had been L'ILE A HELICE, or "Propeller Island").~It is about an enormous ship built by the Yanks, that has a great city on it, and is navigated about the world, playing ducks and drakes with geography and the balance of political power in the South Seas, until finally the savages of the New Hebrides and the forces of Nature rise up and annihilate it. [from a contemporary review cited in T&M]~Sampson Low's "New and Cheaper Editions" always came out a few years after their first editions -- same exact text, same crisp and sharp illustrations, similar pictorial bindings, but a slightly smaller format and without gilt page edges. Today they are highly collectible, especially for the scarcer Sampson Low titles (such as this one) for which fine copies of the first edition have become prohibitively expensive. This is a handsome copy, fine except for very slight rubbing of the front cover gilt. Taves & Michaluk V043; Myers 23. Item #9371