THE TRAGEDY OF PUDD'NHEAD WILSON. And the comedy THOSE EXTRAORDINARY TWINS.

With Marginal Illustrations. Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company, 1894. Original terra-cotta cloth decorated in black.

First Edition, first printing, of "Those Extraordinary Twins," which had not yet been published in the U.K.; First American Edition, first printing, of "Pudd'nhead Wilson," which had appeared a few weeks earlier in Britain. PUDD'NHEAD is a fascinating antebellum tale about two babies (one white and one "slightly" black) switched shortly after birth, one of whom ultimately sells his own mother into slavery in order to pay off his gambling debts. This novel has come to be regarded, along with HUCKLEBERRY FINN, as one of Twain's strongest statements on the subjects of miscegenation and on the degenerative impact of slavery. (Twain spun off "Those Extraordinary Twins" from the PUDD'NHEAD manuscript, when he realized that his planned comedy had turned into a tragedy.)

This copy is from the first printing, with the leaves bulking a scant 1-1/8 inches and with gatherings 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 & 8 unsigned. The printed Twain signature on the frontispiece measures 1-7/16" wide (no priority). It is a near-fine copy, with minor wear at the foot of the spine and occasional thumbing of some page margins; the original endpapers are clean and intact. McBride p. 170; Blanck 3442. Item #15023

Price: $475.00

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