NADAR. [Gaspard-Félix Tournachon]. ~ Le Droit au vol … Paris: [Ch. Lahure for] J. Hetzel, [c. 1865].
8vo (190 × 125 mm), pp. , iii, , 115, . Some foxing. Original printed wrappers. Slightly soiled and rubbed, with slight crack to hinges. Author’s autograph inscription to half-title: ‘au Docteur Desterne / affection cordiale / Nadar’.
First edition, first issue (before the addition of the preface by George Sand), presentation copy, Le Droit au vol is Nadar’s important polemic advocating the development of heavier-than-air flight. Two years before, Nadar had commissioned and experimented with the balloon Géant, whose maiden flight had carried Jules Verne (among others) but whose alarming crash landing on a subsequent flight inspired Nadar to look towards aircraft other than balloons. He founded the Société d’encouragement de la navigation aérienne au moyen du plus lourd que l’air.