Edinburgh & London, William Blackwood & Sons, 1871. First Edition. First Impression. Hardback. A very good copy. Important science fiction novel. Involves an underground super-race and Vril, an elixir of sorts but also akin to aether, electricity, mesmerism and any other (at the time) unexplained, but natural pheonomena. Vril became synonymous with such elixirs and resulted in my new favourite portmanteau: Bovine Vril (i.e. Bovril), a superfood of sorts. Vril was also associated with a number of groups from UFO hunters to Neo-Nazis, and seems to have been a prevalant topos throughout the 20th century. Not in Spectrum, though in 2:145 GL mentions having replaced a copy with the first edition. 40mm of splitting to the cloth at the head of the spine. Both a Lost Race and a Utopian novel. Highly evolved humans (lacking Darwinian competition [Claeys, p111]), with females superior to males. [Clute & Nicholls, p744] Spine toned, and to a lesser extent the edges of the upper board. Ownership inscription dated July 3rd 1871 to the endpaper of Richard Wingfield-Baker, MP for the Liberal Party for South Essex. Bulwer-Lytton and Wingfield-Baker were both MPs (Bulwer-Lytton a Conservative) in the 1850's, so a nice link there. Spine tips bumped. Hinges split at the paper but still tight. A little foxed, but largely in decent shape. A couple of tears to the spine tips. [7780, Hyraxia Books].