Roughing It by Mark Twain, Later Printing, 1874

Twain, Mark, Roughing It. Hartford: American Publishing Company, 1874. Later printing. Bound by Zucher of Philadelphia in 3/4 blue leather and cloth boards with gilt titles and tooling.  

This is a later subscription printing of Mark Twain’s Roughing It, published in 1874 by the American Publishing Company. This book of semi-autobiographical travel literature was written during 1870–71 and first 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 traveling West to dig for wealth in the rocks of Nevada and 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."

As a narrative that travels 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 to the vernacular American experience and toward his own past, which became the sources of his greatest success.

This 1874 printing by American Publishing Company was issued by subscription only and was not for sale in bookstores. The book is fully illustrated by “Eminent Artists,” as advertised. 


Very good condition. Binding by Zucher of Philadelphia. Bound in 3/4 blue leather and blue marbled boards, with raised bands, gilt titles to spine. Some sunning to the spine- leather looks more green on the spine. Gilt top pages. Bookplate on the paste down end paper, “Redmond Conyngham. No. 27.” 592 pp. Illustrated throughout. Interior pages are healthy.

Dimensions: 8 3/4"H x 5 7/8"W x 1 3/4"D

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