[a beautiful copy of the true fir] (Tom Sawyer's Comrade.) With 174 Illustrations. London: Chatto & Windus, 1884. 32 pp ads dated Oct 1884. Original red cloth pictorially decorated in black.
First Edition, first state (with the October 1884 ad catalogue). With all of the attention given to the many issue points of the 1885 first American edition of HUCK FINN, it is easy to forget that it has been well established that the English edition is the true first edition of this classic tale. This Chatto & Windus edition was published during the first week of December 1884, with copies then being advertised as available and for sale. The copyright for the American edition was filed at about the same time, but copies were not actually issued until about four months later (it was first listed in Publishers' Weekly on March 14, 1885, and the earliest ownership inscriptions are dated March 9th or so).
This copy is an example of the ill-conceived 1880s English experiment of binding with staples, rather than string -- which quickly proved to be unsatisfactory for holding books together, and which was soon abandoned. Yet this particular copy remains tight.
This is a bright, just about fine copy (a tear in the preliminary leaf xiii-xiv, spine slightly darkened). Atypically, the bright red cloth spine is NOT faded, and the original patterned endpapers remain intact. With desirable copies of the American edition now fetching $15,000-$25,000, it is likely only a matter of time before the U.K. true-first HUCK FINN lessens the price gap. Blanck 3414; Johnson p. 44; McBride p. 113. Housed in a cloth clamshell case with leather labels. Item #14860