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Antiquarian, Rare & Collectable Books, and South East Asian Art & Antiques
Antiquarian, Rare & Collectable Books, and South East Asian Art & Antiques

Les Premiers Hommes Dans La Lune, H.G. Wells, 1st French Van Maele Edition, 1901


Les Premiers Hommes Dans La Lune (The First Men in the Moon), by H.G. Wells. Translation by Henry D. Davray. Illustrations by Martin Van Maele.

Published by Felix Juven, Paris, 1901 - the same year as the first English publication. This is the rarest and most desirable of the first editions of this book. This first French edition features the spectacular and imaginative illustrations of Martin Van Maele - this being the first, and best, printing. A very scarce volume.

This classic science fiction tale, with these illustrations, proved highly influential, with Georges Méliès's spectacular Le Voyage dans la Lune (the very first Science Fiction genre film), being at least partially influenced by it, along with the work of Jules Verne. Anybody who has seen the splendid 1964 British Science Fiction film, The First Men in the Moon, featuring the stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen, will immediately recoginise the visual influence of Martin Van Maele from this book.

This is very good red cloth hardback with black and gilt decoration. The covers features Van Maele's interpretation of a Selenite, an insectoid moon creature from the book, which looks wonderful.

Covers with mild bumping and rubbing with light soiling and staining near the spine. Spine is age toned with some wear to head and tail. Original blue paper endapers with toning to edges.  

The text is clean and bright with age toning to edges. With very infrequent age spot affecting a small number of pages. All Plates are present. Some age spotting to tissue guards of colour plates. Some showthrough to gutter just before Chapter 3.

A rare opportunity to own a wonderful piece of science fiction history.

296pp + 2pp Contents. Plus 4 coloured Plates as called for.

Text in French.

Dimensions: Approximately 279mm high x 196mm wide x 37mm deep.

Weight: Approximately  1.63kg (unpacked).