"NEVER PUT OFF TILL TOMORROW WHAT YOU CAN DO THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW JUST AS WELL": FIRST ISSUE OF MARK TWAIN'S SKETCHES, 1875
TWAIN, Mark. Mark Twain's Sketches, New and Old. Now First Published in Complete Form. Hartford, Conn., and Chicago, Ill.: The American Publishing Company, 1875. Large, square octavo, original gilt-stamped blue cloth. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $2600.
First edition, first issue, of this collection of 63 humorous pieces by Twain, in the original cloth.
"Sketches, New and Old gathered 63 writings and originally sold by subscription for $3 to $6… These 'sketches' ranged in length from half a page to about 15 pages… [and] offered a dazzling variety of subjects, from time to tourism to taxes, from national prejudices to politics, from mock romance to domestic comedy… Includes enough humor, satire, social criticism, and philosophy to engage any reader and to increase the growth of Mark Twain's reputation" (LeMaster & Wilson, 685). With wood-engraved frontispiece and numerous in-text engravings by the most prolific of Twain illustrators, True Williams. "Twain gave him specific instructions for several of this book's illustrations," including "strong ideas about how the jumping frog should appear. Williams satisfied this demand by making the frog resemble its namesake, Daniel Webster" (Rasmussen, 516). First issue, with repeated footnote on page 120 and "From 'Hospital Days'" on page 299, with tipped-in explanatory note. With triple flyleaves at front and rear as called for by BAL. BAL 3364. Johnson, 24-27. MacDonnell, 38-39. McBride, 35.
Text clean, a bit of rubbing and toning to generally clean cloth, gilt bright. An exceptionally good copy in the original cloth.