New York: Charles L. Webster & Company, 1885. First edition. Original publisher's half-morocco binding with marbled edges and end papers, rebacked with original spine laid down. A first printing copy according to MacDonnell with "Huck Decided" on p. 9, "Him and Another Man" listed as being on page 88 in the list of illustrations, and "with the was" on p. 57. With the exception of those three points, the remaining states of various leaves do not indicate a later printing. This copy contains: the title leaf conjugate (BAL state 3); the portrait frontispiece with "Heliotype Printing Company," but tablecloth not visible (BAL state 2); p. 283 conjugate with a definitely curved fly (BAL state 1); p. 155 printed as "15" (BAL state 1); and retaining the final blank (typical for leather-bound copies). A few short closed tears to pages (one on the rear endpaper professionally secured) and a few finger smudges, otherwise pages are quite clean, fresh and unfoxed.
Scarce in the publisher's morocco and with the first state of Uncle Silas' trousers. Of the 30,000 first printing copies, only approximately 500-600 were bound in the publisher's half-morocco binding.
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. Very Good + (Item #4924)