An exhaustive and curated collection of over 900 works of fiction and non-fiction dedicated to Mars – the mysterious Red Planet – is for sale through Manhattan Rare Book Company. The price is $975,000. The collection traces the history of the centuries-long understanding (and obsession) with Mars, a planet that’s tantalizingly just out of our reach.
The collection is titled Mars and the Imagination: A Record of Our Relationship with the Red Planet. It was conceived and assembled by David Wenner, an experienced collector who was able to unearth important and previously unrecognized literary and historical texts, making new connections among them. In doing so, he’s revealed as much about us as he has about Mars.
The list of contributors reads like a who’s-who in the fields of science (giants like Johannes Kepler, Christiaan Huygens, Robert Hook, Nikola Tesla, Giovanni Cassini, William Hershel, Percival Lowell, Camille Flammarion and others) and science fiction (authors like H. G. Wells, C. S. Lewis, Isaac Asimov, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury and others).
For hundreds of years, these curious thinkers, and many more like them, have sought answers to the many questions surrounding Mars: What are the conditions on the planet? Is it hospitable to life? Are there, or have there ever been, living beings on Mars? If so, are they like us? Superior to us? Threatening to us? And, of course, when will Earthlings actually be able to travel to Mars?
To inquire about purchasing Mars and the Imagination or other rare books, call 212-326-8907; or, email them at [email protected] To learn more, visit www.manhattanrarebooks.com.