"DISTILLATIONS OF TWAIN'S WIT AND WISDOM"
TWAIN, Mark. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson. And the Comedy, Those Extraordinary Twins. Hartford: American Publishing Company, 1894. Octavo, original gilt-stamped russet cloth. Housed in a custom cloth chemise and half morocco slipcase. $1800.
First edition, first state, of the preferred American edition (published simultaneously with the English), with frontispiece portrait of Twain and copious marginal line cut illustrations.
"Regarded as a major part of Twain's Mississippi writings. It resembles Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in being set before the Civil War in a small Missouri town modeled on Hannibal. However, it has a much more somber tone. While it contains humor, it deals frankly with small-town prejudice, slavery, miscegenation, lost birthright, degenerate aristocratic values and distorted parental love" (Rasmussen, 372). "Includes a series of brilliant epigrams, each the headpiece of a chapter, which are distillations of Twain's wit and wisdom" (Benet, 795). First state, with all points for title page, text and frontispiece. Title page a conjugate, as called for; conjugate leaf (a blank) torn away. BAL 3442. Johnson, 59-61. MacDonnell, 50-51. McBride, 170.
Text generally clean; just a touch of toning to cloth, gilt bright. A near-fine copy.