VERNE, Jules (author). Mrs. Cashel HOEY (translator). For The Flag. London; Sampson Low; Marston & Company Limited. 1897.
8vo. Original pictorial brown cloth over bevelled boards stamped in colours and lettered in gilt to spine and upper cover, all edges gilt, original decorative green floral endpapers; pp. viii-312; with pictorial title-page and full-plates plates after engravings throughout; externally bright, sharp, and near fine with bruising to spine ends and very light rubbing to tips and corners, internally equally fresh with cracking to inner hinges, which are firm, and with a neat, and small, contemporary gift inscription in red ink, dated Dec 1897, to recto of frontispiece, internally remarkably clean and crisp.
First British edition (and the first illustrated edition in English) of this science fiction work from Verne's "Voyages Extraordinaires" series. The work was first published in France the previous year entitled Face Au Drapeau and in January 1897 by F. Tennyson Neely of New York as Facing the Flag.
This is a florid patriotic novel which prefigures the atomic threat. A French inventor, Thomas Roch, has developed a super-weapon known as the Fulgurator which he offers to the authorities in his homeland. He is denied and by a series of unfortunate events becomes stranded on a Bermuda island with his, luckily at this point, temporarily neutered creation in the hands of a noble pirate masquerading as the Count d'Artigas. Roch hovers on the edge of madness but rediscovers his patriotism when met by the sight of a gunship flying the Tricolour, and all ends well. On publication Verne was met by a lawsuit brought by Eugene Turpin, the inventor of the explosive melinite (which was used extensively in World War I), who recognised himself in the main character Roch and was not flattered by the comparison.