An absolutely superb first serialized edition of the most influential alien invasion science fiction work ever produced. The finest copy we can trace in this form.
The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells, was written between 1895 and 1897, and first published as a serial simultaneously in Pearson's Magazine in the UK and Cosmopolitan magazine in the United States in 1897. The book form novel was not published until 1898.
The now-classic work is one of the earliest stories to detail a conflict between humankind and an extraterrestrial race ever written, and certainly the first to gain popular influence. It remains one of the most commented-on works in the science fiction canon.
The plot has been variously interpreted as a commentary on the theory of evolution, imperialism, and Victorian era fears, superstitions and prejudices. Wells himself later noted that inspiration for the plot was the catastrophic effect of European colonization and imperialism on the Aboriginal Tasmanians.
The War of the Worlds was popular from its first reception and has never been out of print in its 126-year history. Famously, it was dramatised in a 1938 radio programme, directed by and starring Orson Welles, that reportedly caused panic among listeners who did not know that the events were fictional. The novel even reputedly influenced the work of scientists. Robert H. Goddard was inspired by the book, and helped develop both the liquid-fuelled rocket and multistage rocket, which resulted in the Apollo 11 Moon landing 71 years later.
With alien doings in the air today, it seems the appropriate time to sell my copy. This is the finest example of The Cosmpolitan first edition I have ever seen.
The entire work spans across both the 1896 and 1897 volumes, here complete. We retain the other three matching volumes with it as a bonus.
Wells. H. G. The War of the Worlds [in The Cosmopolitan]. New York. 1896 and 1897.
The Cosmopolitan. A Monthly Illustrated Magazine. Volumes XXII, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, and XXVI, viz. November 1896 through April 1901 Complete. Irvington-on-the-Hudson. J. B. Walker. 1896-1901. 696 + 696 + 696 + 696 + 696pp.
A superbly preserved set in half morocco with matching faux-morocco boards. Attractive raised bands, text block and endpapers in contrasted marbling. Bindings executed by F. C. Schottin of Buffalo [Ticket in each volume]. Some light rubbing and bumping, just a few nicks or scrapes as shown, but on the whole, quite nicely preserved. Textually very solid and clean.