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SAVILE, FRANK. - Beyond the Great South Wall - being some surprising details of the voyage of the S.Y. Racoon.

London, Sampson Low &c 1899. Octavo publisher's illustrated red cloth blocked in black, white, gilt and blue (spine a bit faded and rubbed); [6],302pp and 10pp publisher's list included in the last gathering. A bit used, browning of the endpapers and round the edges. Inscription of a Lawrence Fishburn dated 1916 and 1917 on the front endpaper with a short message written in some secret code. Pretty good; as this is the only copy I've found after some years of looking I can't compare it to others. ¶ First edition and close enough to rare. George Locke noted in the first volume of his Spectrum of Fantasy (1980) that he'd traded his way up to a good first American edition but not yet seen this. At the end of volume two he announced that, in 1993, he'd seen and finally got one. These original sheets were re-issued as an undated 'cheap edition' with a cancel title page and, I suspect, sat in the warehouse for decades - the only copy of that I've seen was apparently bought new and given as a prize in 1927. In other words it was a forgotten dud. How? with that cover? who could resist it? It seems to have been better received in America where it had two editions in 1901 and received a friendly notice in the NY Times. This is an Antarctic adventure discovering a now extinct Mayan civilization and a not extinct prehistoric monster. By no means the worst lost race novel ever written; indeed it stands proud of most Antarctic novels in being brisk, breezy and easy going.
AUD 1500.00 [Appr.: EURO 966.5 US$ 1135.06 | £UK 856.5 | JP¥ 127312] Book number 9540

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