With Marginal Illustrations. Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company, 1894. Original terra-cotta cloth decorated in black.
First American Edition (of "Pudd'nhead Wilson," which had appeared a few weeks earlier in Britain; first edition of "Those Extraordinary Twins," which had not yet been published in the U.K.). PUDD'NHEAD is a fascinating antebellum tale about two babies (one white and one "slightly" black) switched shortly after birth, one of whom ultimately sells his own mother into slavery in order to pay off his gambling debts. This novel has come to be regarded, along with HUCKLEBERRY FINN, as one of Twain's strongest statements on the subjects of miscegenation and on the degenerative impact of slavery. (Twain spun off "Those Extraordinary Twins" from the PUDD'NHEAD manuscript, when he realized that his planned comedy had turned into a tragedy.)~This copy is from the first printing, with the leaves bulking a scant 1-1/8 inches and with gatherings 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 & 8 unsigned. The printed Twain signature on the frontispiece measures 1-7/16" wide (no priority). Exterior condition is bright and clean, though with a little wear at the foot of the spine; as is often the case for this hefty book with brittle endpapers, the endpapers are cracked -- though the volume remains tight; in all, very good-plus. McBride p. 170; Blanck 3442. Item #13868