The Planetary Worlds:
Topography and Telescopic Appearances of the Sun, Planets, Moon, and Comets. With Numerous Illustrations.London: Robert Hardwicke, 1854 Stock Code: 143610
First and only edition, Brian Aldiss's copy, with his ownership inscription to front free endpaper. A unique association copy.
Brian Adliss (1925-2017), an English author, is best known for his science fiction novels and short stories, greatly influenced by science fiction pioneer H. G. Wells. He also edited a number of anthologies, notably in response to the results from the planetary probes of the 1960s and 1970s, which showed that Venus was completely unlike the hot, tropical jungle usually depicted in science fiction. It is no surprise then that Aldiss should own copies of scientific works, especially the present work containing chapters on all of the objects that could be seen in a small telescope, and including views of Saturn both from 19th-century observations, by such as John Herschel, and the newly discovered inner crepe ring, first noticed in 1850 by several observers.
Uncommon: we were unable to trace any copies at auction or on the market; Library Hub locates only ten copies in the UK (BL, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, King's College London, NLS, St Andrews University, Science Museum), and WorldCat ads a further copy at the Southampton University.
Tall octavo. Original blue pebbled cloth, titles and decorations in gilt to spine, embossed decorative frames to boards, yellow coated endpapers with publisher's advertisements, untrimmed.
Monochrome wood-engraved frontispiece, 17 similar plates, some hand-coloured, and numerous in-text diagrams.
A little wear to extremities, very occasional faint spotting; a very good copy.
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