First English edition (technically published slightly before the American first edition) of Twain's tale of twins, role switching, comedy and tragedy – all set in the small Missouri town of Hannibal before the Civil War.
Very good plus.
"All say, 'How hard it is that we have to die' – a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live."
To the surprise of many modern readers, the clever aphorisms for which Twain is well known today are few and far between in his novels – with an important exception in this book, which uses the witticisms as headers in every chapter. Additionally, the theme of the oppressions and immorality of slavery is prominent in this story about Roxy, an enslaved woman who switches her son with the child of a slave holder to prevent him from being sold. Difficult to find in this condition.
Read more: Blanck, Bibliography of American Literature (BAL), 3441.
London: Chatto & Windus, 1894. Full title: Pudd'nhead Wilson: A Tale. 7.5'' x 5.5''. Original red cloth stamped in black. Publisher's catalogue at rear dated September 1894. Illustrated by James Mapes Dodge with a photo frontispiece of Twain and with 6 black-and-white plates by Louis Loeb. xii, 246, , 32 pages. A few tiny pinpricks on boards, light sunning to spine.
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