Anonymous [Louis-Sebastian Mercier] - Memoirs of the Year Two Thousand Five Hundred - W. Jones, 1802, Later Edition.


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London, W. Jones, 1802. Later Edition. Hardback. A good copy. A later edition of a milestone of proto-science fiction, preceding Frankenstein (Frankenstein is commonly argued to be the earliest example of science fiction). The book was first published in France (Mercier was French) in 1771 with an English translation the following year. An important book that helped enormously with the popularity of "tales of the future" which "became a pattern for future novels". It was the first novel with "a future date as the entire title of a work of fiction, paving the way for Orwell", also "the first utopia set in a future time" aka a uchronia, [Alkon, p21 & p60; Claeys, p138]. The present edition is uncommon, and subtitled 'Revised and Corrected', possibly offering an opportunity for comparison to earlier and subsequent editions. The first English translation was by a 'Dr [William] Hooper' who retitled it 2500 as a nice "round number" as compared to the actual title of 2440. There was a Dublin edition in 1772, an American edition in 1795 and a further English edition in 1799. The next edition, in English, appears to by in 1997 by the Gregg Press. Though the BL and others report this translation as also being by Dr Hooper, there's nothing it seems do indicate that's the case, and nothing further to indicate who 'revised' and 'corrected' it. Five copies located in COPAC, none at auction. Contemporary full calf. Condition: Upper board detached, long, horizontal tear to the front endpaper, spine tips chipped and worn, label dulled. [8128, Hyraxia Books].


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