The Green Ray
London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1883. Item #04577
The Scarcest of All Verne First Editions
VERNE, Jules. The Green Ray. Translated From the French by Mary de Hautville. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1883.
First British edition and First edition in English, the five shillings issue with plain edges, with 32 page publisher's catalogue, September 1883, at rear. Octavo (7 x 4 3/4 in; 178 x 121 mm). viii, 312, 32 (publisher's catalog) pp. Frontispiece, title vignette and forty-three black and white plates (included in pagination) by L. Benett, reprinted from the first French edition. One map.
Publishers ochre cloth, front cover pictorially decorated in red and black, title lettered in gilt, rear cover decoratively bordered in blind, spine pictorially decorated in red and black and lettered in gilt, blue-gray floral endpapers. The mildest of rubbing to the extremities, internally immaculate, a near fine and untouched copy.
The scarcest of all Verne first editions. Only two copies have come to auction within the last thirty-six years, one rebound, the other "becoming loose."
Published in September 1883, a month before George Munro's pirated "Seaside Library" edition.
The Green Ray was something of a departure for Verne, a love story set in Scotland, wherein a girl refuses to marry the man her uncles have chosen for her unless she sees the mysterious "green ray," which would tell her it is true love. After numerous failed attempts the phenomenon eventually becomes visible, but the couple, gazing into each other's eyes, miss it. Green flashes or rays are actual optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, when a green spot is visible for a short period of time above the sun or a green ray shoots up from the sunset point. It is usually observed from a low altitude where there is an unobstructed view of the horizon, such as on the ocean.
Taves & Michaluk V023. Myers 31.