“I ALWAYS LIKED YOU & STOOD UP FOR YOU”: BEAUTIFUL MEMORIAL EDITION OF TWAIN’S WRITINGS, ONE OF ONLY 90 SETS PRODUCED, WITH AN UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT LEAF ENTIRELY IN TWAIN’S HAND INCLUDING A SENTENCE THAT ALSO APPEARS IN TOM SAWYER, HANDSOMELY BOUND BY BAYNTUN
TWAIN, Mark. The Writings. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1929. Thirty-seven volumes. Octavo, contemporary full teal morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines and covers, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. $36,500.
Rare, illustrated “Memorial Edition,” number 10 of only 90 sets, signed on the limitation page by the publisher and with an unpublished manuscript leaf of dialogue in Twain’s hand, a line from which later appears in Tom Sawyer, with frontispiece plates depicting scenes from the text as well as dozens of illustrated plates, beautifully bound in full morocco-gilt by Bayntun.
The manuscript leaf, tipped to a blank leaf at front of Volume I (Innocents Abroad), contains unpublished material. It reads: "95 he did?' 'I give you my word I don't know, Ernest; I didn't know what he was talking about. Don't be hard on me, Ernest. I always liked you & stood up for you & [blank]' 'Who asked you to stand up for me—hey? And who asked you to like me? You can just stop it where you are; I don't like you, & I never did. I despise you. By Jehos[h]aphat, when they find out you've been hanging around him—' It put me in a panic, & I began to beg. 'Oh, Ernest, for the love of God don't tell on me—please please don't! If you'll promise you won't, I'll give you [blank]' 'What'll you give me?—Come, quick about it!'"
The phrase "I always liked you & stood up for you" from the manuscript leaf appears, slightly modified, as "I always liked you, Joe, and stood up for you" in a section of dialogue between Muff Potter and Injun Joe right after the murder of Doctor Robinson in Tom Sawyer. The overall passages also contain a few other notable similarities, including the repeated entreaty "Don't tell" and a desperate, pleading tone. The word "Jehos[h]aphat" appears only in one other Twain work, Innocents Abroad. There, Jehoshaphat is mentioned three times in reference to the Valley of Jehoshaphat—the anticipated site of the Final Judgment. Twain visited the area during his travels.
This splendid set includes Twain's works, supplemented by a four-volume biography, two volumes of letters, and Twain's autobiography in the last two volumes. Signed by the publisher on the limitation page, which states that each set contains "by arrangement with the Estate of Samuel L. Clemens" a page of original manuscript material. With numerous full-page tissue-guarded illustrations.
Closed tears to manuscript leaf in Innocents (I), expert repairs to about half the joints, uniform toning to spines. A most desirable and beautiful set with an intriguing Twain manuscript leaf.