THE GILDED AGE. Mark Twain, Charles Dudley Warner.


A Novel. With 212 Illustrations. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1883. 2 pp undated ads. Original red cloth pictorially decorated in black and lettered in gilt.

First one-volume English edition of Mark Twain's first novel, written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner (the result of a challenge, by the two men's wives over dinner, to write a better novel than the current standard fare). This is the tale of Colonel Sellers and the Hawkins family and their determined pursuit of Wealth -- satirizing the greed, political corruption and materialism of post-Civil War America, so successfully that the entire era was named for this novel.

The first English edition, published by Routledge in three volumes, had come out a decade earlier -- in December 1873, simultaneous with the Hartford edition; that three-decker is today extremely scarce (a set recently sold at auction for 22,500 pounds, or almost $30,000).

This is an attractive, very good-plus copy (minor rubbing at the extremities, one endpaper slightly cracked); there is very little of the usual fading of the red spine. These early-1880s London books are tough to find in decent shape, because that was the very brief era when English binders tried using staples, rather than string, to bind books. See Blanck 3359. Item #13612

Price: $475.00