A Fine First Edition, with a Popular Twain Aphorism Handwritten and Signed by Mark TwainMark Twain. The American Claimant. New York: Charles L. Webster & Co., 1892.
First edition. Laid in is a one-page autograph aphorism on "Riverdale on the Hudson" stationery signed by Mark Twain. The aphorism reads in full: "Work & Play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions. Truly yours Mark Twain June 30/03." Note card was once folded and has a horizontal center crease; card was also once pasted to another paper surface with residual paper remnants still adhered to verso. Octavo. [i]-[xvi], 17-277, [1, blank], [8, ads], [2, blank] pages. Frontispiece and several illustrations throughout by Dan Beard.
Publisher's olive green pictorial cloth stamped in black and gilt. Very minor wear to tips of corners. With the small gilt-stamped morocco book label of collector John Stuart Groves on front pastedown. An exceedingly handsome copy in fine condition, housed in a chemise and gilt-stamped quarter leather slipcase.
The American Claimant is one of Twain's lesser-known comic novels -- a sequel of sorts to his 1873 novel The Gilded Age. Amusingly, Twain states categorically in his introductory note to this forgotten gem that "No weather will be found in this book" as such "persistent intrusions of weather are bad for both reader and author." Helpfully, though, he provides an appendix filled with several literary passages on various types of weather, written by other people, should the reader require rain-drenched, sun-scorched, dusty, or windy interludes.
A wonderful book in beautiful condition, accompanied by one of Twain's most popular aphorisms, hand-written and signed by him.
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