“IT WAS TO BE A PICNIC ON A GIGANTIC SCALE”
TWAIN, Mark. The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims' Progress… Hartford, Conn: American Publishing Company, 1869. Octavo, publisher's three-quarter brown morocco, marbled boards, endpapers and edges. $950.
First edition, second issue (as usual) of Twain’s satiric “anti-travel book” (MacDonnell, 33), his first full-scale work and first major success, illustrated with over 200 in-text line cuts by True Williams and others.
Based on Twain's letters to the San Francisco Alta California, New York Tribune and Herald describing his steamship tour of Europe and the Holy Land, The Innocents Abroad [first published 1869] is the "humorous narrative that assured [Twain's] position as a leading author and shows his typical American irreverence for the classic and antique" (Hart, 148). "Twain, by turns both savage and gentle, deflates the pretense of the Old World shrines as well as the Americans who worship at them" (MacDonnell, 33). "Still read with pleasure, The Innocents Abroad has come to be regarded as a definitive document in the perpetual concern of readers with the New World and the Old, and the relation between the two" (LeMaster & Wilson, 400). Contributing illustrator True Williams "ranks as the most prolific illustrator of Mark Twain's books… For Innocents Abroad he did most of the illustrations not copied from photographs" (Rasmussen 516). With 14 plates and hundreds of in-text illustrations. Second issue, with reference numerals on pp. xvii and sviii and all other second issue points. BAL 3316. Johnson, Twain, 9-12.
Scattered light foxing to text, expert repairs to joints and extremities of binding. A very good copy.