Adventures of Huckleberry Finn … by Mark Twain.

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

Price: $4,500.00

About the item

First American edition, first printing. Illustrations by E. W. Kemble; 366 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Green cloth publisher's binding with paint marking on front cover, corners and head and foot of spine rubbed, some soiling to rear board, front hinge starting, child's pencil drawings to front endpapers, a few small tears to textblock, including a closed tear to frontispiece; custom half-morocco slipcase and chemise. BAL 3415; Johnson, 43-50; MacDonnell, 29-35; McBride, 93; Grolier American 87.

Item #353125

Upon publication, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was accused of “blood-curdling humor,” immorality, coarseness and profanity. The book nevertheless emerged as one of the defining novels of American literature, prompting Hemingway to declare: “All modern literature comes from one book by Mark Twain. It’s the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing since.”

In his "Huck Finn among the Issue-Mongers," Kevin MacDonnell has shown that there are only three points which distinguish the first printing from the second printing of 10,000 copies:
"the plates were corrected to reflect three changes in the text: at page 13 the erroneous page reference '88' was changed to '87'; at page 57 the misprint 'with the was' was corrected to 'with the saw'; and at page 9 the misprint 'Decided' was corrected to 'Decides.'" Our copy exhibits all three first printing points. The Uncle Silas plate at page 283, which was defaced at some point during the printing, is here in the cancel state state. As for the other points enumerated by Blanck and Johnson, they derived from corrections made to the electrotyped plates during the course of printing and do not indicate a priority of issue.

This copy has the three identified first-issue points, and the following issue points: BAL 1 C, 2 A, 3 A, 4 A, 5 A, 6 C, 7 A, and with the new point (p. 143) in the first state.