being a description of the Leading Business Houses, Manufactories, Inventions, Etc. of the Pacific Coast, together with Copious and Readable Selections, chiefly from California Writers. Compiled by J. Price and C.S. Haley. San Francisco: Francis & Valentine..., 1872. Original dark olive cloth, with "Tales, Sketches, Poetry and Music" in gilt on the front cover.
First Appearance in book form, preceded only by a one-page broadside printed in July 1868. It is a humorous sketch, in which the populace of San Francisco, knowing that Twain is about to embark on a voyage to New York to arrange the publication of a book, begs and implores him please NOT to have a farewell reading -- "there is a limit to human endurance." Next comes Twain's reply, including "I WILL torment the people if I want to"... This goes on, past a threat from the Chief of Police, to Twain announcing the time and place of the reading -- which was, after all, the actual purpose of the original one-page flyer.
Also first appearing is "Mark Twain in New York," which was his speech to the Aldine Club there. In addition, there is an excerpt from his JUMPING FROG, as well as several items by Bret Harte, Ambrose Bierce and Joaquin Miller.
This is an odd book to have these literary contributions -- for it is first and foremost a promotional piece for Pacific Coast businesses, with the literary material added just to keep people turning the pages. This copy is in its original cloth binding (which gives no hint that a business directory lurks within) -- re-backed, with later dark purple endpapers and laid paper flyleaves, but in general in very good-plus condition (minor wear at the extremities, a quarter-size mark on the rear cover). We have not seen the original binding heretofore. Blanck 3348. Item #14750