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    Gorgeous Signed Copy of Twain's First Book

    Mark Twain. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches. Edited by John Paul [pseudonym of Charles Henry Webb]. New York: C. H. Webb, Publisher, 1867.

    First edition of author's first published book, second issue, with the following points: single leaf of advertising on cream-yellow paper inserted between preliminary flyleaf and title is not present; first issue points all show wear to type. Signed in ink by Mark Twain on front blank: "Yours truly / Mark Twain." Twelvemo. 198 pages.

    Publisher's green sand-grain cloth over bevelled boards. Front cover lettered in gilt with gilt jumping frog in a diagonal position in the lower left corner, rear cover stamped in blind with jumping frog in same position, spine ruled and lettered in gilt with gilt publisher's device at foot. Brown coated endpapers. Cloth is lightly rubbed along extremities with a few small spots of soiling to front board. Bright gilt. A few spots of foxing along edges. One small gathering slightly sprung. Dampstain to front blank, above Twain's signature, created by an amateurish attempt to remove a previous owner's inscription. Toning to preliminary pages and page edges with light, scattered foxing throughout. A very attractive, near fine copy in better condition than typically found.

    "Perhaps no short sketch of Twain's so quickly won wide popularity as did 'The Jumping Frog.' Calaveras County, California, is known to thousands who have never seen the Golden State simply because of this gem of humor. This little volume, the author's first published book, came into being under the sponsorship of Charles Henry Webb-who also edited it under his pseudonym of 'John Paul.' To accompany 'The Jumping Frog' he chose twenty-six other sketches, of which at least two, 'Curing a Cold' and 'The Story of the Bad Little Boy Who Didn't Come to Grief,' later attained the distinction of being incorporated into recitation books for the delectation of even wider audiences" (Zamorano Eighty).

    BAL 3310.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    14th-16th Thursday-Saturday
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