Hartford, Conn. The American Publishing Company, 1876. First edition. First printing, with the half-title and the frontis illustration on separate leaves. Collates complete as per BAL 3369 with the triple fly-leaves on laid paper, front and back, and four pages of publisher's ads following the novel. Bookplate of the noted children’s book collector Mildred Greenhill. Light rubbing to extremities, rear hinge starting, otherwise square and firm in the binding, the cloth clean and bright, a few small marks internally, as often with this paper stock, closed tears to lower margins of pp. 99-102 not affecting text. A Very Good+ to Near Fine copy.
The superior cloth issue with gilt edges. The American edition was originally available at $2.75 for cloth, $3.25 for cloth copies with gilt edges or bound in library-style leather, and $4.25 for "half-turkey, elegantly bound". As with much American work of this era, the leather bindings have not generally fared well and the blue cloth with gilt edges is preferred by discerning collectors, such as Mildred Greenhill, whose copy this was, many of whose books were passed into the library of H. Bradley Martin. Housed in a blue morocco-backed slipcase and cloth chemise (wear to raised bands).
One of the classic American novels, Twain’s bildungsroman follows the adventures of Tom Sawyer – and his friend Huck Finn -- in St. Petersburg, Missouri told with Twain’s characteristic and unmatchable wit and humor. It would become his best-selling book and its sequel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” is arguably the greatest American novel of all time.
“Mr. Samuel Clemens has taken the boy of the Southwest for the hero of his new book… and has presented him with a fidelity to circumstance which loses no charm by being realistic in the highest degree, and which gives incomparably the best picture of life in that region as yet known to fiction.” (Contemporary Atlantic Monthly Review). (Item #3258)