London: Chatto and Windus, 1876. First Edition. 1st edition, preceding the American edition by 6 months and many times more rare, and 6 months priority is enough to secure the status of this edition forever. Tiny points of rubbing at the corners and spine tips else near fine condition, a transcendent copy, the cloth is bright and beautiful, the text is pristine, and its never been touched by the restorer. Copies have been showing up at auction every 5 years or so (7 in cloth in the last 42 years) but they have all been well worn with multiple faults. Fine full morocco case. Near fine. Item #324
Emerging from a background in journalism and already a successful writer with 2 autobiographical narratives (The Innocents Abroad and Roughing It), 3 books of stories and sketches, and a novel (The Gilded Age) written with Charles Warner, Tom Sawyer was Twain’s first attempt to write a novel on his own. It became the best selling of all his books in his own lifetime. Children’s virtue is a modern idea and Tom Sawyer was published during (and was Twain’s gift for) the American Centennial Celebration. It mostly concerns hanging out, declaring to us with disarming charm, that laziness is just resting before you get tired. More meaningfully, it is not a book about sentimentality (the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment), it is, rather, a book about real democracy that could only have been written by Mark Twain, a man who understood that the reason democracy works is that the average man thinks he is above average. There are 2 kinds of truth, the truth that warms the heart and the truth that lights the way. The first is usually art and the second is usually science. That said, Tom Sawyer is neither, yet does both.