1885 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. First edition, blue cloth.

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The blue cloth edition of Mark Twain's classic American work, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade)!

The blue cloth had to be special ordered; most copies were green (a ratio of 20:1) but the publisher offered the blue cloth to match the blue cloth of the first edition of Tom Sawyer (so they would match).

The rules of the 1st edition points don't apply as strictly to the blue cloth edition, as it's assumed they were pieced together more haphazardly, as ordered.

Still, there are a number of clues that indicate this is a later first edition. Most of the textual errors have been corrected, and this retains three first edition points. Points in this copy include:

No signature "11" at the bottom of 161. The 155 appears to be the hand stamped variant (the last five wasn't printed) and this copy was not fully pressed. Copyright 1885 on title page, but 1884 on the verso of the title page.

Also, leading me to conclude that this is a later first edition, the Christmas inscriptions from 1886 (well after first release).

About the Work -

"Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry "Huck" Finn, the narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective) and a friend of Tom Sawyer. It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Set in a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist over 20 years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing satire on entrenched attitudes, particularly racism." - Wiki

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 21.5 x 16.5 x 2.5 cm. Cloth covered hardcover publisher's binding (blue cloth). Illustrated. Pages - flyleaf, (1) , 1/2 (halftitle, frontis of Huck), a tipped in frontis bust of Mark Twain (no tablecloth under), title page is page 3, 4-366, (2), rear flyleaf

Condition -

See pictures. Binding has vintage patina with some wear of time. You'd probably never notice, but I can tell it's been expertly cleaned up with repairs at the top and bottom of spine, in the at points in the joints, and the rear hinge. Very hard to perceive the repairs, very well done. Still, spine has darkened, board edges have some discoloration and a little evidence of water towards the fore-edge of boards. Edge and corner wear to the cloth.

Pages toned throughout. Christmas 1886 gift inscription on flyleaf and blank unpaginated front endpaper. "See BAL 3415 blue cloth" also on flyleaf. Lightly foxed throughout, mostly just where thumbs and fingers would have touched the page. Tipped in frontis (bust) has moisture mark along fore-edge. Tiny pencil marks next to some of the "points". Occasional thumbing. Fore-edge of 15, 1.5 cm chip. Occasional fore-edge and top-edge moisture intrusion, but it didn't get far; tide mark never impedes the text. Page 93, 7 cm tear upwards from bottom. 2 cm tear at bottom of 95. Occasional dog ear. 3 cm tear bottom of 189, no text affected. Repair of bottom corner of rear board left a little blue color on rear pastedown. Also, initials LLY in graphite on rear pastedown.

A fully functioning, rare blue cloth edition which shows some signs of wear and time, but has been preserved well. I'll price the book appropriately for being a "reading copy". At the time of this listing, the most affordable blue cloth I find (checked Vialibri) is $2,000 and it has been rebacked.

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