Mark Twain's hilarious exaggerated accounts of his travels through the West. He insults and pokes fun of everyone, including himself. And he invents some great tales and adventures. This is one of my favorite books, and I'd highly recommend reading it. Plus, there's some American history in here, that's true, that people are trying to erase (for example, The Mountain Meadows Massacre).
This is the first American edition, in the slightly more expensive (when new), and more rare, binding with leather spine and corners; the binding is the original to the book.
Now if you're a collector, here's the typical points (BAL 3337). Page 242 has all the words. There's an ad on 592. Page 156 has capital T and "thirteenth". Page 330, "Eastern".
The wear on this book is consistent of one that's been well read but responsibly kept. It's not falling apart, but it's got thumbing throughout, toning, edge chips/tears, etc. (see condition notes below).
Regarding the limitation of this 3/4 leather binding, the ABAA website says, "The print run for the first edition is uncertain but the book was published in February, 1872 and by month's end 10,855 copies had been bound. By May 1, according to a royalty statement, 37,701 copies had been sold, of which 22,543 were in cloth, 13,952 in sheep and in cloth with gilt edges, 1,176 in three-quarter morocco, and 30 in "special" bindings which included full morocco. By 1879, the proportions were as follows: 96,083 copies sold, with 68,436 in cloth, 2,066 in cloth with gilt edges, 23,831 in sheep, 1,710 in three-quarter morocco, and 40 in special bindings."
Physical Attributes -
Measures approx. 22 x 14.5 x 4 cm.. Leather spine and corners. Decorative paper covers hardcover boards. Spine has six compartments, four with a blind tooled clover in the center, and two with the title, author and "Illustrated" in gilt. Page edges were marbled (now faded).
Pages - flyleaf, (2), 2 inserted frontis plates, xviii, 19-592, (1), flyleaf. I count six inserted non-paginated plates (plus the previously noted frontis plates).
See pictures. Vintage patina. Rubbing to all edges and joints. Front joint appears a little dry with more crazing than rear. Rubbing marks to boards. Marbled page edges are faded. Front inner hinge cracked.
Flyleaf and 1st unpaginated blank endpaper have some damage at top half of gutter. Numerous bookseller notes on 1st blank endpaper, like "1st edition", "Rare", etc.. Name and city at top of 2nd blank unpaginated endpaper. Frontis plates have a dark spot at fore-edge where thumb would touch them. Title page has spot at bottom and some thumbing. Some thumbing, soiling and toning throughout. Occasional fox spots common to paper from this era. Occasional fox spot, especially where thumb/fingers turn the page. Occasional edge chip/tear, no text affected. 2" tear in middle of 159/160, all paper present. Top corner of pages bumped from 225 to 325. 4" tear at top of 463/464, all text present.
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