The Battle of Dorking. Reminiscences of a Volunteer
Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood, 1871. From the Bart Auerbach Collection. Small 8vo. 64 pages, plus ads. Original purple pictorial wrappers. Some light wear at spine and front fore-edge, covers a bit faded. A very good copy. Item #409329
First separate edition of perhaps the single most influential future war story: "Before Chesney there had been little effective method in the few tales of the war-to-come that had appeared. After Chesney there were very few of these tales that did not employ the devices that had alarmed a nation, angered a Continent, and annoyed the Prime Minister" (Clarke, 'Voices Prophesying War: Future Wars 1763-3749', 1992, p. 34). "The first significant British imaginary war story and also the finest and most influential example of the subgenre" (Bleiler, 'Science-Fiction: The Early Years' 412). Ink ownership inscription at top of front cover of a member of the "Coldstream Guards/Guards' Club," 1871. Bleiler (1978), p. 42; Clarke, 'Tale of the Future' (1978), p. 5; Tom Reiss, "Imagining the Worst" in: 'The New Yorker', Nov. 28, 2005, pp. 106-114. (BA).