New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885. First Edition. Square octavo. Original half morocco, spine lettered in gilt with compartments decorated in gilt, gilt rules to covers, marbled endpapers and edges. Photogravure frontispiece of Karl Gerhardt's portrait bust of Clemens, illustrations after E. W. Kemble in the text throughout. Joints repaired, extremities worn. A very good copy.
First edition, first printing, inscribed by the author on the first binder's blank, "To Miss Annie Price from the Author, with Merry Christmas 1887".
Only three substantive changes were introduced after the first printing: at p. 13 the erroneous page reference "88" was changed to "87"; at p. 57, 11 lines from the bottom the misprint "with the was" was corrected to "with the saw"; and at p. 9 the misprint "Decided" was corrected to "Decides" (this last change overlooked by Johnson, Blanck et al.) These are the only points to distinguish between the first two printings, and our copy has all three in first state. The frontispiece was printed separately, inserted at random, and has no relation to the order of the printed sheets. At some stage it was realised that the Uncle Silas illustration on p. 283 had been mischievously tampered with. In this copy, the illustration is in the second (or arguably third) state, with the changes removed.
Copies in the original half morocco binding are the least often met with. Less than two weeks before publication, the publisher Webster announced that he was binding 20,000 copies in cloth, another 2,500 in sheep, and 500 copies in half morocco. Webster's own copy, also half morocco, was dated by him as having been received from the binder on 26 November 1884. Very Good (Item #2035)