Captain Adam Seaborn [probably John Cleves Symmes] - Symzonia: A Voyage of Discovery - J. Seymour, 1820, First Edition.


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Code: 7846

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New York, J. Seymour, 1820. First Edition. First Impression. Hardback. A good copy. A scarce copy of an important book. I don't think it too bold to state that this is the first science fiction novel by an American, using Frankenstein's publication as the first science fiction novel. Indeed we can find no book published between 1818 and 1820 by an American that could be classed as such. "Now accepted to have been written by Symmes...Combines two genres: the imaginary voyage and the utopia." [Seed, p77]. The authorship is not quite as straight-forward according to Bleiler, who doubted Symmes would parody his own work [Clute & Nicholls, p1196]. The 1965 edition edited by J.O. Bailey has Symmes on the title page as the author. Another author proposed was Nathaniel Ames [Lang & Leese, p249, New England Quarterly]. A powerful influence on Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, according to Seed, though Bleiler disagees again. Symmes is known for his propagating of Halley's theory of concentric spheres and polar openings [Clute & Nicholls, p579]. Not in Spectrum. In Bleiler under hollow-earth / Symmes theory [Bleiler, p176]. Physical description: i-ii: title page with a quote to the verso; iii-iv: blank to recto with plate of sectional view of the earth to verso, v: describes the plate, vi-vii: advert, viii-xii: outline the chapters. Text on pages 13-248. Condition: Possibly the original boards and spine, though any sign of the paper covering the cloth spine has long since disappeared so there is no title etc. on the cloth, just a crudely hand-written one. Similarly the upper board has had a hand-written title added. All edges untrimmed. Binding loose with a number of the strings having detached from the block. Some leaves chipped. Block toned. A few owner's marks on the title page. Some foxing throughout. [7846, Hyraxia Books].


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