THE INNOCENTS ABROAD, or The New Pilgrims' Progress;. Mark Twain.
THE INNOCENTS ABROAD, or The New Pilgrims' Progress;
THE INNOCENTS ABROAD, or The New Pilgrims' Progress;

THE INNOCENTS ABROAD, or The New Pilgrims' Progress;

... With Two Hundred and Thirty-Four Illustrations. Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company [plus six others], 1869. 5 pp undated ads. Original very dark brown cloth stamped in gilt.

First Edition of Twain's second book, published in July 1869, preceded only by THE CELEBRATED JUMPING FROG OF CALAVERAS COUNTY. This is Twain's account, filled with shrewd observation and humor, of his steamship journey to Europe and the Levant -- originally in the form of letters to American newspapers. It proved to be Twain's first commercial success; as with most books produced by The American Publishing Company, copies were sold on a subscription basis -- door-to-door, by salesmen who had dummy copies showing the various bindings available, rather than through bookshops.

Blanck cites three issues of this book: a first and second that have five differing "points" -- plus a third issue differing from the second only in its ads. This copy is entirely first-issue -- with all five points in the earliest state. (In our experience, the second issue is the most frequently encountered.)

This copy, still in the original cloth, is in very good-plus condition, with the binding's gilt still quite bright. There is some wear at the spine ends, which seems to be an almost-unavoidable problem for these hefty early Twain books. Also the rear endpaper has some cracking, another common problem, as the endpapers are not strong enough for such a sizeable volume. In our experience, it is quite difficult to find in decent shape copies of the first three of Twain's books that were issued in this hefty, oversized format (this title in 1869, ROUGHING IT in 1872, and THE GILDED AGE in 1873); it is not that hard to find the fourth and last (A TRAMP ABROAD in 1879). McBride pp 6-7; Blanck 3316. Housed in an open-back slipcase. Item #15010

Price: $1,950.00

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