Timeless Classics Low Level: Adv. Tom Sawyer

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Other humor volumes of the day were either cloth-bound books generously illustrated with comic drawings, or extremely cheap paperbacks -- Twain's book was neither. But this unassuming volume and its English yellow-back piracy had brought Twain's writings to the attention of a larger and more easterly situated reading public than those already familiar with his widely scattered newspaper sketches.

It had served its purpose, for by the time Twain was getting ready to melt down those hard-won plates, he had already seen his second book through the press, and watched it become a best seller.

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Unlike Dan'l Webster, Twain had no buckshot holding him down. If his first book had been a leap toward fame, his second book would send him full steam before a world-wide audience. During the five month voyage Twain wrote burlesque accounts of his travels for several newspapers, and upon his return was offered a contract for a book by a subscription book publisher in Hartford. Twain had admired the gaudy appearance and aggressive marketing of subscription books, and was well-aware of the potential profits that could be made publishing in that format.

His second book bore no resemblance to his first.


The turmoil between Frome and his wife and the woman he loves is gut wrenching! During these early years he witnessed an astonishing variety of American cultures that would later provide him with the authentic contexts for his greatest works. Like many others of that generation-and then I suppose of every American generation that has followed-I was assigned the book as part of a college course. Many have told me they feel I would have a greater appreciation for the works - but I don't want to "have an appreciation" I want to enjoy books. On Special. Unrecorded by BAL or Johnson is a single copy with a cancel title-page. I can't really blame this one on my English teacher, though the one my senior year-best I've had by far -it was for UIL.

The heft of the book, as with all subscription books, gave the buyer a sense of getting more for his money. It was not available in bookstores, and was only sold door to door by subscription agents who were supplied by the publisher with a prospectus that displayed samples of the bindings, the text, and the illustrations. And unlike books sold only in bookstores, whose sale figures faded quickly, subscription books sometimes sold steadily for years after their initial publication because of continual promotion.

With this second book, a Canadian edition soon followed, as well as English editions and a European edition, and while Twain gained a huge readership from those other editions, he was paid no royalties from their sale, a situation that would vex him for many years. But he made a fortune from his royalties on the American subscription edition, and it is no wonder that nearly every one of Twain's books for the next thirty years was published and sold in this fashion.

That was a wise financial decision by Twain, who would later make some terrible business investments that would eventually force him into bankruptcy, but it has proved to be a boon for collectors. A shelf of Twain first editions is far more diverse and attractive than a shelf of the works of nearly any other nineteenth century author. The following list of Twain's primary first editions is selective. Only major works are included; the list could have been four times as long and only half as interesting.

Publishers' imprints have been standardized and abbreviated; several of Twain's subscription books were issued with multiple imprints listing agents in different cities, while others are known with variant imprints; these are discussed in detail under each title. A special effort has been made to provide valid bibliographical information not included in Johnson or BAL; for routine collations and fuller physical descriptions of the books, readers should refer to those two reference works.


Editorial Reviews. muaatructanbele.tk Review. A seminal work of American Literature that still Timeless Classics Low Level: Adv. Tom Sawyer - Kindle edition by Mark Twain. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or. A seminal work of American Literature that still commands deep praise and still elicits controversy, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is essential to the.

Where reliable documented sources exist publisher's records, correspondence, and the books themselves significant information, not otherwise widely known, has been provided: edition sizes, previously unrecorded binding variants, and bibliographical characteristics of previously unidentified printings, states, and issues. My conclusions about matters of bibliographical description are based on the principles expounded by Fredson Bowers and Philip Gaskell.

My examples of binding and textual variants are based on copies in my own collection as well as personal examination of copies I have handled over the years as a bookseller. In a few cases where I have not personally examined a copy, I have made that clear. Years of experience have taught me that bibliographical hearsay rarely passes muster. When examining the bibliographical evidence and publishing histories of Twain's books, it should be remembered at all times that these books were products that were mass-produced for profit.

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The publishers' decisions about paper, typesetting, printing, repairs, binding, and marketing of these books were driven by economic necessities. The materials used were not intended to last forever, and the processes involved in their production were not intended to preserve any sort of bibliographical record for the benefit of future students of Twain's works. It is folly to apply a rigid scientific method to things made by human beings whose behavior is not always logical, consistent, or predictable.

My use of the words "fine" and "very good" to describe condition when reporting the market values of these books also requires some explanation. Modern first edition collectors and dealers in works by contemporary authors often use these terms as absolutes. In contrast, anyone familiar with incunables would not place such a book next to a Stephen King novel and describe either one as "fine" without some discrimination. An incunable with a few marginal worm holes, some normal aging to the pigskin, some light dust on the spine, a missing end paper, some subtle warping of the spruce boards, a couple of ownership inscriptions, and some paper flaws from the manufacturing process, might be considered a fine and wonderful copy by the most fastidious connoisseur.

Equivalent defects in a Stephen King first edition would be fatal. For nineteenth century books, "fine" is a shorthand term that does not equate with perfect. A book with no obvious wear, bright gilt, and a clean tight text is usually considered fine even if it does have an ownership inscription, a suggestion of rubbing at the corners, and some normal mild toning of the paper.

When "very good" is applied in shorthand fashion to a nineteenth century book, it still describes an attractive copy with no defects or damage, but the book might show some signs of use, or some dust, or some fading, or some foxing in the text. Unlike some century old collectibles like stamps or coins that sometimes escape use altogether and survive in pristine condition, books by popular authors are seldom so lucky.

The collector of modern first editions who is used to the challenge of seeking the best-priced fine copy of a particular book that he can find, may have to adjust his thinking when he steps back more than one hundred years in time. For Twain collectors, especially when looking for the early subscription volumes, the question is more often a decision to buy the best copy one can afford, or simply finding an acceptable copy, regardless of price. Two special notes are appropriate, one about subscription book bindings, and the other about dust jackets.

Collecting Mark Twain: A History and Three New Paths

The subscription books were issued in various styles of cloth and leather bindings. Collectors should be aware that the early black cloth bindings, unlike the bindings on Twain's later books, are very hard to find in truly fine condition. Even the best copies seen nearly always show some small signs of rubbing, or tiny cracks or breaks in the cloth of the spine tips. The cloth and papers used were relatively cheap quality and become brittle with age. The leather bindings were also not always the best quality, and copies in the full sheep bindings, though produced in good numbers for some titles, rarely survive in numbers proportional to the number that were originally bound.

Cracked hinges, chipping, and dry leather are the norm. The morocco bindings are only slightly more sturdy than the sheep bindings, and seal russia is rarely seen at all.

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Most, if not all, of Twain's Harper's books were probably issued in dust jackets, but early collectors did not value them, and they were not often preserved, unless by accident. Johnson did not think them important enough to warrant mention, and BAL ignores them as well for different reasons: dust jackets provide dicey bibliographical evidence given that they are easily exchanged between copies.

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Later edition jackets are frequently married to first edition books. Fortunately, with Twain's Harper books, the earliest states of the dust jackets generally carried a box advertisement on the rear panel advertising his other books.

When those ads mention books published after the date of publication of the book in hand, you can be sure you have a later state jacket, possibly the result of a marriage not made in heaven. That said, most of states I've noted are fairly early ones, and minute study of their wear, offsetting, and age spots would indicate that all of them are original with the books they are on.

Clearly Harper took no pains to print the same number of jackets as books. They sometimes used left-over early jackets on later copies, and sometimes had to print new jackets for old stock as it was sold. While copies of Twain's books bring four to eight times as much when found in dust jackets, they have still been grossly undervalued far out of proportion to their relative rarity. Even so, at this late date, trying to build a complete collection of the known jackets would be an unrealistic goal.

So the collector must be secure in the knowledge that a shelf of Twain first editions is a handsome shelf of books that tempts the reader, with or without dust jackets. A final note is in order regarding some of the bibliographical notes on Twain's first editions. Broken type and textual corrections have long been accepted as evidence of priority between finished copies of Twain's books. These conclusions are reasonable in those cases where it is known that a book was produced from a single setting of standing type, but that was rarely the case with Twain's books.

Instead, most of Twain's books were printed from plates produced from master molds taken from standing type, and such plates were routinely duplicated and modified in ways that render it impossible to draw sound conclusions of priority about the books they were used to produce. To further complicate matters, some of Twain's books were printed simultaneously from multiple plates by more than one printer.

http://pierreducalvet.ca/207220.php In next month's issue, we will focus on HUCK FINN for a detailed, and at times, mind-numbing, discussion of the vagaries of nineteenth century printing and binding methods. For many readers, some of the bibliographical notes on these individual books may result in mild abdominal distress that can only be relieved by the soothing coating action of next month's article. New York: C.

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Webb, BAL The author's first book consisted of twenty-seven short sketches, running the gamut from carefully crafted fiction to carelessly written newspaper skits, all riding on the coattails of the title story. The first printing of 1, copies was bound and ready for sale May 1, A second printing of copies was bound up twenty days later. The first printing contained an inserted ad leaf just before the title-page. It was printed separately from the sheets of the book on buff paper sometimes called yellow , and was inserted in all copies of the first printing, but was not inserted in the second printing sheets.

The sheets of the first printing had undamaged type in folio 21 and in the last lines of text on pages 66 and The pages of the first printing seem slightly stiffer than the second printing, a feature that may have resulted from the pressman printing the text with the grain of the paper instead of across the grain; because the paper stock is wove rather than laid, there are no chain-lines to provide a clue. At least two copies are known with page wholly unprinted, but that is more likely the result of the accidental use of waste-sheets than an issue point; such sheets may have resulted if the type for that final page of text was removed from the forme for plating or correction before the last few sheets had been printed.

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The fact that Twain gave a blue copy to his mother led to the erroneous conclusion years ago that blue copies were the earliest issued. When Twain was asked years later about the book, he recalled that is was bound in blue cloth, which only reenforced that misconception. In fact, Twain gave away copies in other colors of cloth at the time of publication, and copies were bound simultaneously in green, terra cotta, dark brown, lavender, blue, deep purple, maroon, and red cloth in roughly ascending order of rarity.

It was common practice for publishers of the day to issue a book in several colors of cloth for two reasons. First, it made it easy for booksellers to arrange colorful window displays; these were the days before color posters and dust jackets were in common use. Second, it allowed buyers to choose a color that would blend best with their own Victorian decor; green, red, and terra cotta were among the most popular Victorian decorating colors.

All of these colors may have made the gilt-stamped frog on the front cover restless. On most copies he sits in the lower left corner of the cover, poised as if he might leap across to the other side. But in some copies he's frozen in mid leap at the right of the cover. By applying simple logic, this of course, should be the later state -- frogs don't jump backwards, after all.

In reality, there is no priority between such copies.

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The binder who stamped his copies incorrectly can be excused for thinking the design belonged at the right since most pictorial gilt designs in those days were stamped at the right of the covers. If collectors of today pause to reflect that bindings at that time were the product of hand-work using simple stamping machines and a minimal division of labor, such anomalies become far less significant than if they were found on the mass-produced books of the twentieth century.

The first issue is usually found worn, and unless it's a green, brown or terra cotta copy, it's usually faded, too. The hinges are prone to cracking and splitting, and rebacked or recased copies are often seen. Because the first edition is expensive and hard to find in collectible condition, even the reprints fetch a few hundred dollars.

Hartford: American Publishing Co. Twain's first great success, this was more an anti-travel book than a travel book, as it is often described. Twain, by turns both savage and gentle, deflates the pretense of the Old World shrines as well as the Americans who worship at them. The first printing was 11, copies; just over 31, were bound during the first six months of sales, and 69, copies were sold during the first year of sales. The three states of the first edition are described accurately by BAL, who notes that copies are found with mixed sheets.