New York: De Vinne Press, 1906. First edition. Number 157 of a limited run of 250 numbered copies. Second issue, as usual, with p. 131 ending, "thinks about | it" (APG). Original blue-gray boards, morocco label, gilt, original box. A fresh, Fine copy in a Near Fine box that has survived nicely, with just a bit of bumping to the rear panel.
One of the major works of Twain's late years, here he sets forth his Deterministic philosophy using Socratic dialogue form. Twain originally published the work anonymously, even concealing his identity from the publisher. The author's earnest debate on the nature of man, free will and destiny. A work that influenced science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in his book, ". . . That Thou Art Mindful of Him" completing the biblical verse quoted by Twain for his title, Psalm 8-4. Because Twain had the print run delivered directly to his home, giving away only an estimated eight copies in his final years, the remainder of the run disappeared for a time after his death. Copies began resurfacing in the 1930s and again in the 1950s in New York, predominantly sold through Seven Gables Bookshop. They have again become scarce in recent years.
BAL 3490. Fine in Near Fine dust jacket. (Item #3443)