"IT SEEMED PLAIN TO ME THAT TOO MUCH SPACE WAS GIVEN TO POETRY AND ROMANCE AND NOT ENOUGH TO STATISTICS AND AGRICULTURE": MARK TWAIN'S MEMORANDA, AS THEY ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN GALAXY, 1870-71
TWAIN, Mark. Mark Twain's Memoranda. From the Galaxy. Toronto: Wm. Warwick, 1871. Octavo, original dark brown cloth expertly rebacked with original spine laid down. $3200.
First edition of this unauthorized Canadian publication of some of Twain's earlier pieces that originally appeared in the New York literary periodical Galaxy (May 1870-February 1871). Among the rarest of Twain's early publications.
"The Galaxy, an ambitious New York magazine of that day, proposed to Twain that he conduct for them a humorous department. They would pay $2400 a year for the work, and allow him a free hand… his first installment, under the general title of 'Memoranda,' appeared in May, 1870. In his Introductory he outlined what the reader might expect, such as 'exhaustive statistical tables,' 'Patent Office reports,' and 'complete instructions about farming, even from the grafting of the seed to the harrowing of the matured crops.' He declared that he would throw a pathos into the subject of agriculture that would surprise and delight the world" (Paine, Life). "Inoffensive ignorance, benignant stupidity, unostentatious imbecility will always be cheerfully accorded a corner, and even the feeblest humor will be admitted, when we can do no better; but no circumstances, however dismal, will ever be considered a sufficient excuse for the admission of that last and saddest evidence of intellectual poverty, the Pun" (page 4). This pirated edition thus created a new Twain title that never saw publication in the United States. With two lithographic illustrations, one folding. BAL 3327 (recording the publisher as The Canadian News and Publishing Company, but noting that copies have been located bearing the name of different distributors in the imprint, as is the case in the present copy).
Interior generally clean and fine, faint staining to original cloth. A near-fine copy.