In Honor of Book-Aesthete’s membership reaching 20,000! Thank you all for your interest and for spreading the word.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Jules Verne. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1873.
This is the true American first edition. This Osgood edition, although dated 1873, was actually published in November 1872, the same month as Sampson Low’s British edition. An edition was then produced by George M. Smith, also of Boston, in a very similar binding (Smith’s has Captain Nemo using a sextant and reads “Under the Seas”), and it is this edition that is more frequently seen. The Osgood edition has decidedly sharper images. Although the reason for the scarcity is unknown, it is speculated that most of the Osgood copies were destroyed in the Great Boston Fire.
“The year 1866 was signalised by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and puzzling phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Not to mention rumours which agitated the maritime population and excited the public mind, even in the interior of continents, seafaring men were particularly excited. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the Governments of several States on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.
For some time past vessels had been met by “an enormous thing,” a long object, spindle-shaped, occasionally phosphorescent, and infinitely larger and more rapid in its movements than a whale.”
Part One, Chapter One.