Roughing It by Mark Twain, First Edition, 1872

This is a very scarce printing of the first American edition of Mark Twain’s Roughing It. This book of semi-autobiographical travel literature was written during 1870–71 and published in 1872 as a prequel to Twain’s first book The Innocents Abroad.

His second major work, the book is loosely based on Twain going West to dig for wealth in the rocks of Nevada and ultimately finding it instead as a writer and entertainer. It covers the time between 1861 and 1867, a period of great growth for our Nation. In 1867, the Transcontinental Railroad was completed, an event which, Twain wrote his publisher, "has turned so much attention in that direction" -- that is, to the West.

As a travel narrative that keeps going west through Nevada, California, and ultimately Hawaii, the book was written and advertised as a companion to the eastward-moving Innocents Abroad. Roughing It sold well, though it was never as popular with American readers as Innocents Abroad. Its ultimate value to Twain may have been to turn his imagination in directions that became, as his career went on, the sources of his greatest power -- that is, to vernacular American experience and toward his own past.


American Publishing Company, Hartford, 1872.  First Edition, first state--with "was occupying his" on page 242, line 21. This book is in excellent condition, with very healthy pages. Hand-bound in quarter leather and facsimile autographed cloth and housed in a custom slipcase that features Twain's portrait on the cover. 

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