“IN SOME WAYS… HIS BEST TRAVEL NARRATIVE”: MARK TWAIN’S FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR, FIRST ISSUE IN RARE PUBLISHER’S MOROCCO-GILT
TWAIN, Mark. Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World. Hartford: American Publishing, 1897. Royal octavo, publisher's three-quarter red-brown morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edge gilt. $5500.
First edition, first issue, of Twain’s fifth and final travel book, handsome in rare publisher’s morocco-gilt.
Based on his 1895-96 lecture tour (undertaken to pay his debts) through Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, India, Mauritius and South Africa, Following the Equator was Twain's last travel book, and "also his most serious… He relates the narrative as himself… The serious tone 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. Early owner pencil inscription.
Spine and corners lightly rubbed, joints a bit tender. A handsome copy, most scarce in the publisher’s morocco-gilt.