This is an on-line version of William Timlin's "The Ship That Sailed to Mars"



William Mitcheson Timlin was born in 1892 in Ashington of Northumberland, England. He immigrated with his family to South Africa in the early 1912. Finishing his education in England, he became a successful architect in Kimberly, South Africa. He used his artistic talents illustrating magazines, and books.

In 1923 his best known work, "The Ship That Sailed To Mars" was published by Harrap in Britain. The book contains 48 color illustrations, alternating with 48 leaves of calligraphic text. The story is of a man who designs and builds a sailing ship that soars through a fanciful trip to Mars. The illustrations are a mix of science fiction, whimsy, and fantasy.

Only 2000 copies of the book were produced. 250 were distributed in the United States by Stokes of New York. Originally selling for two guineas, or twelve dollars, original copies are now worth thousands of dollars. In 1993, StoneWall Publications put out a reprint of "The Ship That Sailed To Mars", using photographs of the original book. If you are searching for copies of either, is a good place to start.

William Timlin planned to produce another fantasy, "The Building Of The Fairy City". Although some illustrations were done, he never finished the book.  Timlin died in 1943.

My first experience with "The Ship That Sailed To Mars" was when I saw it at an estate auction. You can read about the auction here. I didn't get that copy, but I finally found one in poor condition that I could afford. I decided to scan the illustrations from my copy for this page.  I haven't scanned the text pages, due to lack of internet space, but samples of the text are below.


·        Go to Part 1 - The Ship That Sailed To Mars

·        Go to Part 2 - The Journey

·        Go to Part 3 - Mars



To start reading the book, click on Part 1 - The Ship That Sailed To Mars

Click on an illustration to see a larger image.


 If you would like to ask a question, please e-mail me . I love to hear anyone's experiences with this book!












The Ship That Sailed To Mars,

By William Timlin


questions? comments?