Item #15195 LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI. Mark Twain.


With More Than 300 Illustrations. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1883. Original brown cloth pictorially decorated in black and gilt.

First American Edition, first issue, published five days after Chatto & Windus's London edition.

LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI is really two books combined. The first twenty-one chapters are his early impressions of the great river..., written [and serialized] in 1875 [and] here reprinted, with the balance of the book, chapter twenty-two to the end, being his [new] story of his trip down the river as an honored guest [Johnson].

Huckleberry Finn makes a cameo appearance on pages 42-61: "By way of illustrating keelboat talk and manners, and that now-departed and hardly-remembered raft-life, I will throw in, in this place, a chapter from a book which I have been working at, by fits and starts, during the past five or six years..." (but this chapter would not in fact appear in that book two years later).

This copy is of the first issue (which in our experience is less common than the mixed and second issues): the illustration of "Twain in flames" is present at the end of his discourse on cremation on p. 441 (it is absent in later copies, because Twain's wife objected to the illustration); and the incorrect caption "The St. Louis Hotel" (rather than the proper "The St. Charles Hotel") appears on p. 443.

This is a near-fine copy (a few short nicks in the spine ends, minor erosion of the gilt spine panel, a little cracking of the rear endpaper). Blanck 3411; Johnson pp 41-43. This copy is housed in a magnificent felt-lined clamshell case -- of full black suede with a brown suede spine label; its front cover is blind-stamped with rectangles that mirror the front cover of the volume. Item #15195

Price: $1,250.00

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