With 197 Illustrations by E.W. Kemble. London: Chatto & Windus, 1888. 32 pp ads dated Apr 1888. Original red cloth pictorially decorated in black.
First (English) Edition, apparently preceding the American edition. According to Blanck, the English edition was listed (in the Athenæum) on April 28th, while the American edition was deposited on May 15; this does not prove that the English edition was "published" first, but certainly makes it a good possibility.
This sizeable (719-page) compendium of humor was anonymously edited by William Dean Howells, and includes pieces by such other writers as Ambrose Bierce, Robert J. Burdette, Joel Chandler Harris, Bret Harte, James Russell Lowell, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Artemus Ward and Charles Dudley Warner. There are twenty contributions by Mark Twain; a 21st, "Warm Hair," is erroneously credited to Twain (he denied authorship, but a manuscript of it in his hand does exist). All of the Twain pieces appearing in this volume had previously appeared in other Twain works (though the title is nonetheless highly-sought by Twain collectors, since it is, of course, named for him); some pieces by other writers appear in a book here for the first time.
This is a very good-plus copy, perhaps near-fine (a small nick at the head of the slightly darkened spine) of a desirable Twain volume; in our experience it is quite scarce: the Merron collection did not have a copy, and the Hartford (McBride) collections have only a rebound one. See Blanck 1982 (also 3425); McBride p. 123. Item #14690