Antiquarian Auctions

Auction #115 begins on 30 May 2024

Mark Twain [Samuel Clemens]

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Tom Sawyer's Comrade

Published: Charles L. Webster and Company, New York, 1885

Edition: First Edition

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First edition, with many of the first issue points, including: conjugate title leaf with the copyright notice dated 1884 as usual, the illustration "Him and Another Man" listed as page 88 on page 13, "with the was" on page 57, page 283 in the third state with a straight fly on a cancel leaf, third state page 155 with the final five larger than the first, page 161 lacking the signature mark, leaf 238 pasted under the terminal endpaper, first state frontispiece printed in black with the tablecloth clearly visible and with Heliotype Printing Company imprint. Publisher's decorative green cloth; illustrated with 174 illustrations by Edward Windsor Kemble. Good, with some light wear and rubbing to the extremities, spine rebacked with the original cloth laid on, some rubbing to the spine and boards, tape residue to the endpapers and frontispieces, loss to the bottom margin of page 149/150, pages 39/40 and 293/294 repaired and with tape residue, some stains to page 126-129, a few scattered light spots, otherwise bright pages. Overall, a presentable copy, with many more first issue points than usual. BAL 3415.

This copy of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the first American editions issued in a green cloth binding. Other bindings for this title include blue cloth, library (sheep) binding, and deluxe (half morocco) binding. Most copies of Huckleberry Finn in all binding variants have a third state title leaf, as "no copy of the published book has been seen, or reported, with the copyright notice dated 1885." This cloth bound copy contains the definitive issue points on pages 13 and 57, as well as nearly all of the issue points found in cloth copies, with the exceptions of pages 155 and 283; notably, page 283 is usually found in the third state in cloth bindings, and the uncorrected illustration with the curved fly is found almost exclusively in the sheep-bound copies and BAL notes that "no examined copy of the published book has the defaced plate" indicative of the second state. 

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a pseudo companion novel to Twain's highly successful Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876); although both are set in the antebellum South, Tom Sawyer is the tale of a young boy's mischievous adventures, while Huckleberry Finn involves a disenfranchised youth's moral dilemmas about social conflict. Huckleberry Finn is a boy who runs away from his alcoholic father and befriends Jim, a run-away African-American slave seeking freedom in the North. The dialog of the text features local dialects drawn from Twain's experiences living in the South. When it was first published in the United States in 1885, Huckleberry Finn was highly scrutinized and was banned by several libraries. Interestingly, the text was banned not for its saturation of racist vocabulary and prejudiced world-views, but for its depiction of criminal, lower class white Americans. Although it continued to be challenged in the 20th century for its depiction and treatment of African-Americans, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remains one of the Great American Novels. Indeed, Ernest Hemingway proclaimed that it was the beginning of American literature: "There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since."

  • Jacket Condition: n/a
  • Binding Condition: Good
  • Overall Condition: Good
  • Sold By: B&B Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Joshua Mann
  • Country: United States
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 646 652 67 66
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover)
  • Trade Associations: ABAA

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