London: Sampson Low, Martson, Low, & Searle, 1873. First U.K. edition. Rare first English language edition of Verne's classic work, preceding the American edition and much scarcer than the 1873 Smith or Osgood US printings. Publisher's original red cloth stamped in black and gilt, rebacked with portions of the spine replaced. Original peach end papers with a contemporary gift inscription and Burns Bindery ticket. All page edges gilt. Generally in good condition internally. A young reader has written comments at the end of the book in pencil that could be erased, but we've left them as they are kind of charming. Finally publisher's catalogue "For the season 1872-73" has six pages, not eight as seen in some other copies. Whether it's lacking the final advertisement leaf or whether it was issued as such, we cannot say. A Very Good copy overall of a very scarce book. A similar copy (also rebacked and in cloth) brought $8,750 at auction (Heritage, 2018).
"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is arguably Verne's masterpiece. As a classic it has aged wonderfully well: it is escapist fun, but it still retains its literary and scientific significance. To dismiss it as simply an adventure story does it a disservice...it is also an eerie tale of isolation and madness, packed full with geographica; and scientific accuracies that make the fantastic uncomfortably believable" (The Guardian). A work of incredible imagination, the novel follows the expedition and capture of Professor Pierre Aronnax as he scours the ocean deeps in search of a mysterious "sea monster" reportedly attacking international vessels. As it turns out, the fabulous beast spotted off the coast of New York turns out to be the Nautilus, a secret underwater ship constructed for and commanded by Captain Nemo. An incredible work of adventure that explores the depths of the human psyche. Very Good (Item #2607)