Edinburgh & London, William Blackwood & Sons, 1871. First edition, first impression. Hardback. A very good copy in the original binding. 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. Both a Lost Race and a Utopian novel. Highly evolved humans (lacking Darwinian competition [Claeys, p111]), with females superior to males. [Clute & Nicholls, p744]. Some staining to the boards, head and tail of the spine chipped, heavily to the tail with some associated tearing. Reading lean, owner's plate to front pastedown, pulling to hinges splitting the paper. Uncommon. [9284, Hyraxia Books].