New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1869. 8vo. [ii], 345,  pp., plus 10-page publisher’s catalogue and additional leaf of publisher’s advertisements. FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. Frontispiece plus 5 full-page wood engravings. Original publisher’s burgundy cloth with gilt stamp of an elephant and balloon, some fading along the spine; yellow endpapers. In fabulous condition. Ownership inscription of Mrs. J.S. Waterman on fly-leaf. Item #15707
First edition in English of Jules Verne’s first novel following the first French edition issued in 1863. This copy is also the first of the author’s works published in America.
The publisher’s note decribes the book as a “satire on English books on African travel” and noting that while the descriptions of “the geography, the inhabitants, the animals and features of the countries” are accurate, the mode of transportation and the adventures are fictious. Verne’s Five Weeks in a Balloon was his first novel combining scientific text and adventure fiction and soon became an international bestseller. This English edition additionally contains finely engraved illustrations depicting the protagonists’ epic journey.
Verne (1828–1905) was a French author and considered the father of modern science fiction. Five Weeks in a Balloon launched what is known as his “positivist period” along with his other hugely popular novels like Journey to the centre of the Earth and Twenty thousand leagues under the sea.