Arranged with Comment by Albert Bigelow Paine. Two Volumes. Illustrated. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, (1917). Original red cloth, top edge gilt and other edges uncut, front and rear covers undecorated.
First Edition, first printing, in the publisher's "Library" binding -- of the first collected edition of Twain's correspondence, published seven years after the latter's death. In seven more years, Paine would edit Mark Twain's autobiography.
Any attempt to designate Mark Twain's place in the world's literary history would be presumptuous now. Yet I cannot help thinking that he will maintain his supremacy in the century that produced him. I think so because, of all the writers of that hundred years, his work was the most human... [from Paine's Preface].
In addition to this "Library" binding, the trade edition was also bound in a slightly shorter red binding matching the style of the Uniform Edition of Twain's Works -- with plain top edge, and with a circular cornhusk design on the cover. (BAL inadvertently reversed all of this in their entry.) There was also a 350-copy Limited Edition, in brown boards and printed spine labels. All three binding states are uncommon.
As is proper for the first printing, the Harper date code on the copyright page is "L-R" (signifying "printed November 1917"). This is a fine set (spines only very slightly faded), with the leaves still unopened. McBride p. 244; Blanck 3525. Item #14871