First printing, a beautiful copy, with one of only 100 copies of the facsimile proof of the infamous suppressed plate.
Mark Twain had made big plans for his sequel to TOM SAWYER, working on a 30,000 copy print run for the Christmas season. But the celebrated humorist and children's book author didn't appreciate the prank played by an unknown employee: someone had secretly altered the illustration on page 283 to depict Uncle Silas exposing himself. The error was caught midway through production thanks to Twain's door-to-door booksellers, who sold pre-orders of the book using salesman's samples. After a scramble to correct the plate with a new leaf either tipped in or bound in (thus pushing back the publication timing and missing the crucial holiday rush), no copies with the vandalized plate made it to publication day. For this reason, the story is often told in the halls of book collecting lore – but the offending plate has rarely been seen. According to Twain bibliographer William M. McBride, "In fact, the only evidence we have that the 'priapic' plate existed at all is the result of Merle Johnson finding an unbound copy of the original leaf in the collection of Willard S. Morse [...] and convincing Morse to allow Johnson to make a photographic copy of it." This book is accompanied by one of those copies, the bibliographic evidence of the "naughtily priapic" prank. With such a large print run, copies of the first edition aren't exactly rare – but nice copies accompanied by this plate certainly are.
Read more: McBride, Mark Twain: A Bibliography, 103; Blanck, Bibliography of American Literature (BAL), 3415; MacDonnell, "Huck Finn Among the Issue Mongers," in Firsts Magazine.
New York: Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885. 8.5'' x 6.75''. Original green pictorial cloth stamped in gilt and black. Pale peach endpapers. "Decided" on page ; "Him and another Man" listed as on page 88; "with the was" on page 57, 11th line from the bottom (ref. BAL). Illustrated throughout in black and white. 366 pages. Housed in custom quarter green goatskin slipcase and green cloth chemise. Labeled envelope containing facsimile of suppressed plate laid in. Hinges expertly repaired. Only light rubbing to spine ends and corners, just a bit of edgewear; clean interior.
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