New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885. First American edition. First printing. Bound in scarce blue publisher's cloth stamped in gilt and black. Near Fine with minor wear at the extremities, spine gilt a bit dulled, otherwise a lovely copy. With the three commonly cited first issue points: p.  "Huck Decided to Leave," p.  "Him and another man" listed at p. 88, and p. 57 eleventh line reads "...with the was..." The other states of various other leaves occur in haphazard combinations within the first printing. An exceptional copy of a book that helped to define American literature. Housed in a custom leather clamshell case.
Recounting the adventures of Huckleberry Finn as he flees his own abusive father and aids Jim in his escape from slavery, Twain's novel has been praised for its "distinctly American voice," putting at its center two common people who find an uncommon friendship. "Today perhaps the novel’s greatest significance lies in its conception of childhood, as a time of risk, discovery, and adventure. Huck is no innocent: He lies, steals, smokes, swears, and skips school. He accepts no authority, not from his father or the Widow Douglas or anyone else. And it is the twin images of a perilous, harrowing odyssey of adventure and perfect freedom from all restraints that so many readers find entrancing" (Mintz). A metaphor for a young and rebellious nation, as well as its individualist inhabitants, Huckleberry Finn defies genre by being simultaneously an adventure story, a road novel, a coming of age tale, an expression of nostalgia for the expansive natural spaces lost to industrialization, and an exploration of race and class. Listed on the American Scholar 100 Best American Novels and one of the 100 Best Novels Written in English.
BAL 3415. MacDonnell, 31. Johnson 43. Grolier 87. Near Fine (Item #2389)