First printing of the classic American children's book about an orphan boy growing up on the banks of the Mississippi River in Missouri, in the expertly restored original cloth binding.
"Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or two were experiences of my own, the rest those of boys who were schoolmates of mine." – Author's Preface
While Twain is best known today as the author of canonical children's books like this one and its sequel, HUCK FINN, before TOM SAWYER he was actually famous instead as a travel writer and humorist lecturer. TOM SAWYER was Twain's first novel entirely composed by him (an earlier novel, THE GILDED AGE, was co-authored with his friend Charles Dudley Warner). While it did eventually achieve bestseller status, its initial reception was modest, with a first printing of only 5000 copies. Today its reputation has made it a highly sought rarity in the first printing, as here, and copies in great condition are scarce. Twain bibliographer Kevin MacDonnell summarizes it thus: "This was a true boy's book, and surviving copies are proof of how rough on books little boys can be."
Read more: McBride, Mark Twain: A Bibliography, 40; Blanck, Bibliography of American Literature (BAL), 3369; MacDonnell, "Collecting Mark Twain: A History and Three New Paths," in Firsts Magazine.
Hartford, Conn. The American Publishing Company, 1876. 8.5'' x 6.5''. Original blue pictorial cloth elaborately stamped in black and gilt on spine and front board. Peach endpapers, triple fly leaves on laid paper. Publisher's catalogue at rear. [i]-xvi, 17-275, ,  pages. Archival tape repair to long closed tear in gutter of first fly leaf, ink owner name on same leaf and another ink name on title page. Hinges expertly repaired, with some restoration to cloth around corners and toned spine. Faint intermittent soiling to text.
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