London: R.E. King, Printer for Divine, Hall & Co., Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn, South Africa, N/D . Very Good. First Edition. 8vo [7.25x5in]; vii, 184 pp.,  advertisement; Red cloth covers with gilt lettering on spine, blind stamped designs with gilt publisher design on front, fore edge of covers beveled, top edge gilt and all edges untrimmed; Shelf wear to covers, edges and corners, covers soiled with stain spots, corners bumped and worn through, spine darken with soling, stain spots and repaired tears to top and bottom, both hinges cracked and loose, first pages loose, text pages age darken and fragile due to quality of paper; Tipped in light green card with the book inscribed to Steve Fossett from Alex Tai dated April 5, 2004, "Dear Steve, On the day you and your team smashing the unassisted sailing record around the world. An original Verne on achieving the new "Sub Sixty Jules Verne", Yours Inspired Alex Tai" And handwritten letter, dated the same, "Dear Steve, For 80 Days read less than 60!! Verne's fiction proves that fact can BE more inspiring. Well done to you and your team, this year has the makings of one of your greatest. Best Wishes Alex Tai". A very rare book printed for a South African publisher and only one related copy found on WorldCat. [Taves/Michaluk p. 138]. Item #13602
Jules Verne (1828-1905) a French author famous for his many novels of adventures, exploration and the future, and the "Father of science fiction". In 1872, the serialized version of "Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours" first appeared in print. This was a grand travel adventure that capture the public interest when world travel was becoming easier. The printer Richard Edward King, London, published this book around 1895. It appears that an edition was printed for Divine Hall with special red cloth binding as described above. Divine Hall & Co. were general merchants, gun dealers and dealers in other items in the communities of Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn from according to South African directories.
Steve Fossett (1944-2007) was a successful commodities trader and an adventurer that set world records in balloons, sailboats, gliders and unique powered aircraft. In 2002, he was the first person to solo circumnavigate the world in a balloon, uninterrupted and unrefueled, and, in 2005, made a solo nonstop unrefueled flight around the world in the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer sponsored by Richard Branson. In the 1980's Fossett began developing a library collection of books on adventure and exploration. He enlisted the services of an experienced bookseller to assist in building a collection of more than 2,000 volumes focusing on significant and authoritative accounts of aeronautics, polar, Asian, Australasian, circumnavigation's, mountaineering and others. In September, 2007, Fossett disappeared on a solo flight in a light aircraft over the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. After an extensive search, the wreckage was found by hikers a year later along the rugged Mt. Ritter range, about 10 miles east of Yosemite National Park.