[Holberg, Ludvig]. Nicolai Klimii iter subterraneum novam telluris theoriam [...].

Copenhagen & Leipzig, Jakob Preuss, 1741.

8vo. (2), 380 pp. With engraved frontispiece and 3 numbered engraved plates (one folding). Contemporary half calf with giltstamped spine-title.


First edition of this important Utopian novel describing Niels Klim's imaginary journey to the centre of the earth. A biting critique of the rule of the Danish King Christian VI, this tale of subterranean discovery advanced to one of the most popular socio-critical enlightenment novels.

Holberg is described by Bleiler as "a one-man literary renaissance", a founder of modern Danish literature and significant contributor to the genre of imaginary voyages. While his tale is often compared with Swift's "Gulliver's Travels", Bleiler notes that "Holberg's satire is wider in scope, more penetrating in analysis, and less local than Swift's", and highlights this title as being of "international importance" - a fact further evidenced by its countless later reprintings, adaptations, and abridged versions still in print today.

Binding rubbed; hinges starting. Larger brown stain to p. 145, small tear to pp. 179f., not touching text. Page 221 with ink annotations, transliterating and paraphrasing in Latin the Greek phrase, "ton hetto logon kreitto poiein" ("making the weaker argument stronger"). Occasional light foxing and toning. Contemporary ownership of E. Flygare to title-page; slightly later ownerships of Rudolph Christian and Eduardo Fleucher to flyleaf. Older deleted ownership on front pastedown. Latterly in the library of fantastic fiction assembled by the U.S. collector Gary Munson. A good copy of what is regarded as the first great Danish novel.


Bleiler, Science Fiction, 1114. Brunet III, 260. Gibson, More 710. Gove 303. Lewis, Utopian Literature in the Penn State University Libraries, 1984, 91. Ehrencron-Müller XII, 213. Paul Johansen 21,1. Bibl. Danica IV, 441.

Stock Code: BN#57808 Tags: , , ,