1885, first edition of Hetzel's finely bound Mediterranean epic by Jules Verne
First edition. Hardback, bound in the original decorative red cloth, with superb gilt and black designs to upper board with titling on a silver background, gilt titling to spine, printed black decoration to rear board. All edges gilt. 27.5 × 18cm, 552pp, 8pp ads. French text.
Published as part of Hetzel's Voyages Extraordinaires par Jules Verne series, and illustrated with 111 engravings and a map by Leon Benett, this book begins in Trieste in 1867 where two petty criminals, Sarcany and Zirone, intercept a carrier pigeon. They find a ciphered message attached to its leg and uncover a plot to liberate Hungary from Austro-Hungarian rule. The two meet with Silas Toronthal, a corrupt banker, and form a plan to deliver the conspirators to the police in exchange for a rich reward. The three conspirators, Count Sandorf, Stephen Bathory and Ladislas Zathmar are arrested and sentenced to death. Fifteen years later, the renowned physician Dr. Antekirtt sets out to avenge those three brave men. Enlisting the aid of two French acrobats, Pescade and Matifou, he scours the Mediterranean in search of those who planned the betrayal. Rich beyond all imagination, wielding great power and master of an island fortress filled with advanced weaponry, Dr. Antekirtt will not rest until justice is done.
This copy is in good condition. The spine is sun faded and a little marked, the the board's edges and corners have some rubbing. The inner binding is secure but the pages are tanned quite heavily throughout with occasional foxing.