The Moon Hoax; or a Discovery That the Moon Has a
Vast Population of Human Beings. Illustrated with a view of the Moon, as
seen by Lord Rosse's Telescope
In 1835, a series of six articles was published in The Sun about the supposed discovery of life and civilization on the moon. The revelations, which included descriptions of animals and bat-winged humanoids who built temples as well as some technical information regarding the operation of the telescope, were falsely attributed to John Herschel, one of the best-known astronomers of the time. Several weeks after its first appearance, it was discovered to be a hoax, but not before the report had been circulated in scientific circles throughout the United States and Europe. Richard Adams Locke, a reporter for The Sun, was identified as the perpetrator of the "ingenious astronomical hoax." Following its appearance in The Sun, the owners of the paper published it in pamphlet form in 1835, of which only a handful survive. This copy is from the second publication in book form, by William Gowan in 1859. A very scarce copy of one of the great literary hoaxes of the 19th century.
New York: William Gowan, 1859. pp. 63, illustrated with woodcut frontispiece, rebound in
quarter library buckram with marbled boards, spine lettered in white,
patterned endpapers. Ex-Libris of Hartford Public Library with bookstamps on pastedowns and pocket at rear. Wear to cloth and boards, hinges cracked, textblock toned with some edge tears to some pages, first several pages reinforced, about good.
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