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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
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[CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne] TWAIN, Mark.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Published: Hartford, Conn.: The American Publishing Company, 1876

Stock code: 51871

Price: £57,500

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First American edition, first printing, printed on wove paper, with the half-title and frontispiece printed on separate leaves (verso of half-title and recto of frontispiece blank). The American edition was published around the beginning of December 1876, preceded by the London edition published in June the same year. Mark Twain had moved to Hartford to work with the publisher Elisha Bliss, Jr. of the American Publishing Company. At the time, Hartford was a publishing centre with twelve publishers, and the town had the highest per-capita income of any city in the United States. Tom Sawyer proved such a success that Twain was able to hire Tiffany to supervise the redecoration of his Hartford house. It also inspired him, somewhat less successfully, to found his own publishing house, Charles L. Webster and Company, which had success with its first two publications, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, but went bankrupt by 1894.

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Square octavo. Original blue vertically-ribbed cloth decoratively stamped in black and gilt and lettered in gilt and blind on front cover and spine, back cover decoratively stamped in black with publisher’s device stamped in black in the centre, peach endpapers. Blue morocco slipcase and chemise, lettered gilt. Wood-engraved frontispiece and numerous wood-engraved text illustrations by True Williams and others. Very slight rubbing and/or fraying to corners and spine extremities, inner hinges with some short superficial cracking, still an excellent copy, the cloth bright and fresh.

Bibliography: BAL 3369; Grolier, 100 American, 79; Johnson, Twain, pp. 27–30; Peter Parley to Penrod, pp. 43–44.

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