Description

    Samuel L. Clemens [Mark Twain] signed book from his library. A Digit of the Moon - A Hindoo Love Story translated from the original Ms. by F. W. Bain (London: James Parker and Co., 1901), Second Edition, 118p, 4.5" x 6.75". Exquisitely rebound, three-quarter leather, with linen endpapers, spine with raised bands with "A Digit of the Moon" and "Mark Twain" in gilt lettering. Mark Twain has signed the page inserted just before the half-title: "S. L. Clemens 1903". Beneath his signature has been affixed a printed certification signed: "Albert Bigelow Paine" as Literary Executor. In full: "This volume is from the Library of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain). Sold February, 1911, by The Anderson Auction Company, No. 12 East 46th Street, New York."

    In the story, a king falls in love with a wise and beautiful princess who will marry only the suitor who asks her a question she cannot answer. The king, with a clever friend, sets off to win the hand of the princess. During Francis W. Bain's life (1863-1940), there were disputes as to whether the story was truly a translation or Bain had written it himself.

    In 1896, While visiting India on his lecture tour, Mark Twain was introduced to Sri Swami Bhaskarananda Saraswati, a Hindu holy man whom the locals revered as a god. They met at in a small garden where he lived. The holy man impressed Twain as a great spiritual leader and scholar, compelling him to write: "He is no longer a part or feature of this world. He is utterly holy, utterly pure." So it is not surprising that Twain would have a book such as the one offered here in his library. Mark Twain died on April 21, 1910, at the age of 74. Several hundred books from Twain's library, consigned to The Anderson Auction Company by his literary executor, Albert Bigelow Paine, were sold at the company's auction rooms in New York City on February 7-8, 1911. Fine condition.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
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