[CLEMENS, Samuel (1835-1910)]
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade) ... By Mark Twain
New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885. 8vo. (8 5/16 x 6 1/2 inches). Illustrated by E.W. Kemble. 366pp. Photogravure portrait frontispiece. Spurious Twain autograph mounted below the half title.
Publisher's green cloth, upper cover pictorially stamped in gilt and black. Slight wear at edges and top and tail of spine. Within modern chemise and dark green morocco backed slipcase.
First edition, first printing, of Twain's enduring classic that follows Huck's journey challenging societal norms and exploring complex themes of race, morality, and freedom that continue to resonate with readers today.
The first edition comprised 30,000 copies; the publisher Webster announced that 20,000 would be bound in green or blue cloth ($2.75), 2,500 in a sheepskin library binding ($3.25), and 500 in deluxe half morocco binding ($4.25). In his "Huck Finn among the Issue-Mongers," Kevin MacDonnell has shown that there are only three points which distinguish the first printing from the second printing of 10,000 copies: "The plates were corrected to reflect three changes in the text: at page 13 the erroneous page reference '88' was changed to '87'; at page 57 the misprint 'with the was' was corrected to 'with the saw'; and at page 9 the misprint 'Decided' was corrected to 'Decides.'" Our copy exhibits all three first printing points. The Uncle Silas illustration at page 283, which was infamously defaced at some point during the printing, is here in its first "curved" state. As for the other points enumerated by Blanck and Johnson, they derived from corrections made to the electrotyped plates during the course of printing and do not indicate a priority of issue.
BAL 3415; Grolier, American 87.