"HUMAN PRIDE IS NOT WORTH WHILE; THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING LYING IN WAIT TO TAKE THE WIND OUT OF IT": TWAIN'S FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR, FIRST ISSUE
TWAIN, Mark. Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World. Hartford: American Publishing, 1897. Royal octavo, original navy cloth gilt, mounted cover illustration. $1000.
First edition, first issue, of Twain's fifth and final travel book.
"Travel themes pervade Twain's fiction… [but] Following the Equator, Twain's final travel book, resembles Innocents Abroad in having a clear narrative tracing an actual journey—the around-the-world lecture tour he undertook in 1895-96. The book has long sections on his voyage across the Pacific and Indian Oceans and his visits to Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa." Often sober in tone due to Twain's grief over the death of his daughter Susie, this is his "only travel book that makes no pretense that its narrator may be anyone other than Twain himself. Following the Equator contains occasional flashes of whimsy and…. many passages are lifted directly from notebooks he kept during his travels" (Rasmussen, Critical Companion, 916). While largely written to pay Twain's debts, the serious tone of the book "in some ways makes this his best travel narrative" (MacDonnell, 53). First issue, with single imprint (Hartford) on title page. Debate continues over the priority of other points of issue and state. This copy contains the following points of bibliographical interest: page 161 with signature mark "11" and flyleaves both front and rear. BAL 3451. Johnson, 65. McBride, 194.
Text clean; a bit of rubbing to front label, spine gently toned, original cloth with light expert cleaning. An extremely good copy.