Life on the Mississippi
Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1883.
Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1883. First American edition. First State, with the image of Twain in flames on p. 441 and with "The St. Louis Hotel" caption on p. 443. In the original publisher's brown cloth with gilt vignettes on the front board and spine. A Near Fine copy with bright cloth and gilt. Front inner hinge expertly repaired, slight wear at the spine ends and lower edge of the boards, otherwise an attractive copy.
The author's first-hand look at navigating the Mississippi by riverboat and the changes to that area many years after the Civil War. Written concurrently with Huckleberry Finn and sharing several themes and even a few passages with that masterpiece. "The material offered by observations on the journey is various beyond enumeration, and much of it is extremely amusing. Hoaxes and exaggerations palmed off by pilots and other natives along the way upon supposed ignorant strangers; stories of gamblers and obsolete robbers; glimpses of character and manners; descriptions of scenery and places; statistics of trade; Indian legends; extracts from the comments of foreign travelers, -- all these occur, interspersed with two or three stories of either humorous or tragic import, or of both together" (The Atlantic Monthly, September 1883). Near Fine (Item #5230)