Now First Published in Complete Form. Sold only by Subscription. Hartford, Conn., and Chicago, Ill.: The American Publishing Company, 1875. Original blue cloth decorated in black and gilt.
First Edition, first issue, of this collection of amusing sketches. A curiosity of this first edition is that (on all copies) the title on the spine is reversed, SKETCHES OLD AND NEW. These sketches are quite "early Twain"; his next literary attempt, bound similarly, would be THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER (1876).~The first issue, as here, includes "From 'Hospital Days'" on p. 299, and has the p. 119 footnote inadvertently repeated on p. 120. "From 'Hospital Days'" was discovered, too late for the first copies, not to have been written by Twain after all (it was by Jane Stuart Woolsey); this copy includes the erratum slip tipped in at that spot, so advising the reader.~This copy is a standard copy with plain page edges (a small number had gilt edges, an option for which the original subscriber would have paid extra); it is a bright, very good copy (light wear at the spine ends, front endpaper cracked only at the top, a couple of marginal stains on the first few leaves). In our experience the first issue is scarcer than the second, and has become quite uncommon in highly-desirable condition. Housed in a cloth slipcase with leather label. McBride p. 35 (citing seven second issue copies but only two first issue ones); Blanck 3364. Provenance: small leather "Blairhame" bookplate of Mrs. J. Insley Blair. Item #13671