Le Voyageur philosophe dans un Pays inconnu aux Habitans de la Terre. Multa incredibilia vera, Multa credibilia falsa, par Mr. De Listonai. Daniel Jost de VILLENEUVE.

Le Voyageur philosophe dans un Pays inconnu aux Habitans de la Terreā€¦
Le Voyageur philosophe dans un Pays inconnu aux Habitans de la Terre. Multa incredibilia vera, Multa credibilia falsa, par Mr. De Listonai.

Amsterdam: 'depens de l'editeur,', 1761.

Two volumes, octavo, titles printed in black and red; contemporary mottle,d calf, spines ornately gilt in compartments between raised bands, tan morocco title and number labels (number on volume two missing).

First edition of a scarce lunar utopia. This early tale of space-travel is also a wonderful Enlightenment document of faith in the perfect society.

First edition of a scarce lunar utopia. This early tale of space-travel is also a wonderful Enlightenment document of faith in the perfect society.
Little is known about the author, but his work is an extended meditation on the themes of society and the natural. Interestingly, the narrator seeks to establish his credentials as man of the world and experienced traveller by claiming to have journeyed to many parts of the world, including a couple of abortive attempts 'de débarquer dans les Terres Australes'. Given this pedigree, it can come as no surprise to the reader that the Voyager so easily journeys to the moon, nor that he is capable of giving such a wonderfully thorough account of Selenite society.
The lunar city Sélénopolis displays the standard traits of symmetry and order, which are chronicled with uncritical sincerity by the awe-struck visitor: 'La comparaison de l'état social et de l'état naturel: dans l'absence du mien et du tien, il n'y a pas de vice, pas de crime, pas de crainte de la mort…. C'est le Siècle des Lumières parfaitement réalisé' (Hartig & Soboul, Pour une histoire de l'utopie en France). Having discussed their morals, advances in science and all-round goodness, the traveller sadly takes his leave, happy only in that all of the notes he has taken will be of such inestimable use 'pour l'agrément, l'utilité & le bonheur de l'humanité, dans le dessein d'en enrichir ma Patrie'.

Negley, 1141.

Price (AUD): $2,600.00  other currencies     Ref: #3006497

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