The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, First American Edition, Early State, in Original Green Pictorial Boards, 1885

Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade). New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885. First US edition, early state. Octavo, original gilt and black-stamped green pictorial cloth. With 174 illustrations by Edward Kemble.

This is a green cloth first American edition copy of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The book is complete with 174 illustrations by Edward Kemble, as well as a lithographic frontispiece and photographic portrait frontispiece of the bust of Mark Twain by Karl Gerhardt.

Twain initially conceived the work as a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, intending to follow the character Huckleberry Finn through adulthood. Beginning with a few pages he had removed from the earlier novel, Twain began work on a manuscript he originally titled Huckleberry Finn's Autobiography. Twain worked on the manuscript off and on for the next several years, ultimately abandoning his original plan of following Huck's development into adulthood. He lost interest in the manuscript and set it aside for several years. After making a trip down the Hudson River, Twain returned to work writing the novel. Upon completion, the novel's title closely paralleled its predecessor's: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade). Twain composed the story in pen on notepaper between 1876 and 1883.

From the moment of publication, Huckleberry Finn endured critical attacks, standing accused of “blood-curdling humor,” immorality, coarseness and profanity. The book nevertheless emerged as one of the defining novels of American literature, prompting Ernest Hemingway to declare: “All modern literature comes from one book by Mark Twain. It’s the best book we’ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing since.” Huck has been called “the most praised and most condemned 19th-century American work of fiction” (Legacies of Genius, 47)


The book is in very good condition. Several small points of foxing throughout, with light toning. Besides minimal bumping, boards are in very good condition with tight binding.

First American edition, early state, including the following issue points: the frontispiece is in the first state; the title leaf in the second or third state; first state of p. 13 with "Him and Another Man" plate listed as being on p. 88; first state of p. 57 with "was"; third state of pagination on p. 155; with blank 238 where illustration should be.

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

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