[Viente mil leguas de viaje submarino (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea)/por Julio Verne/Unica traduccion española por D. Vicente Guimerá. Illustrations of the original French version by de Neuville and Riou. Madrid, 1869. (Imprenta de) Establecimiento Tipográfico de Tomás Rey y Compañia, Editores. (Fomento 6).
Small in-8°. Bound in midnight blue half-basin. White edges. Purple endpapers. Illustrated cover preserved. First part paginated from 1 to 247 and second part from 1 to 290.
First illustrated edition in the world and first illustrated edition in Castilian.
This edition is both an enigma and the very first illustrated edition - worldwide - of Jules Verne's most famous novel, appearing at least six months before the end of its pre-publication in Le Magasin d'Éducation et de Récréation (No. 121, 20 March 1869, to No. 151, 20 June 1870) and almost two years before the first French edition published by Hetzel (16 November 1871).
Discovered by Javier Román, a bibliophile and collector of the first Castilian editions of Jules Verne's works, this edition is also the most complete in terms of illustrations. In fact, the two engravings published in the Castilian edition on pp. 200 and 247 (and later on pp. 9 and 104 of volume XIII of the Magasin d'Éducation et de Récréation in the first half of 1870) were removed from the French edition. How was it possible for the Spanish printer-publisher Tomás Rey to publish the complete text and illustrations of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea as a preview when its publication in France was not yet complete? Spanish researchers have suggested that Jules Verne sent the complete text of the novel to the translator, Vicente Guimerá, as early as 1869, in order to translate it into Spanish for Verne's official publisher in Spain: Gaspar and Roig. Guimerá, who worked for the Spanish Ministry of Finance, also knew the printer-publisher Tomás Rey e Ca, who was also a subcontractor of the same ministry... We can therefore assume that all the illustrations were also sent to the translator. The latter would then have communicated the translation and the engravings to Tomás Rey - of course in complete disregard of Hetzel's rules: no translation may appear before the French edition - thus allowing the publication of this volume, which is therefore a pirate edition.
This volume is obviously precious and extremely rare (the copies - one or two at most - sold at public auction in Spain to date (of which only one with its cover) have been the object of "cosmic" auctions), and Vernian bibliophiles and collectors will not be mistaken...