New York: Gabriel Wells, 1922-1925. Definitive Edition. Leather bound. SIGNED. Octavo [22.5 cm] Lavishly and contemporaneously bound and printed by the Plimpton Press in maroon leather, with gilt tooled spines, raised bands, and decorative gilt ruled borders and floral stamped patterns on the boards. Top edges gilt. Gilt turn-ins. Colorful speckled endpapers. Printed on specially produced paper watermarked with a device displaying the author's name and pseudonym. Illustrated by famous illustrators of the period including, A. B. Frost, Albert Levering, Dan Beard, J. Allen St. John, Peter Newell, C. D. Weldon, Edmund H. Garrett, Frederick Opper, and many others. Each illustration is accompanied with a tissue guard printed in red. The extremities are moderately rubbed, and the spines are subtly faded. The free endpapers are darkened at the edges, the result of the offsetting of the turn-ins. There is a thin, white, 1" mark along the very top edge of the front board of the first volume. The front board of volume 13 ("The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn") is detached, but present. There is a 3" closed tear to the illustration at p. 172 in volume 20. BAL 3691. Johnson, p. 151.
This set contains the following works: The Innocents Abroad. In Two Volumes; Roughing It. In Two Volumes; The Gilded Age. In Two Volumes; Sketches New and Old; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; A Tramp Abroad. In Two Volumes; The Prince and the Pauper; Life on the Mississippi; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court; The American Claimant; Pudd'nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins; Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by The Sieur Louis De Conte; Tom Sawyer, Abroad- Tom Sawyer, Detective and Other Stories; Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World. In Two Volumes; Literary Essays; The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Essays and Stories; The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories; Mark Twain's Speeches; Europe and Elsewhere; Christian Science with Notes Containing Corrections to Date; What Is Man and Other Essays; The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories; Mark Twain: A Biography, The Personal and Literary Life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. In Four Volumes; Mark Twain's Letters. In Two Volumes; Mark Twain's Autobiography. In Two Volumes. Very good. Item #55632
An exceedingly lovely set, bearing Twain's autograph in the first volume, and with wonderful illustrations, including numerous photographic representations exhibiting Twain's unique character and the people and places which were relevant in his life. In addition, it is noteworthy that the leading Twain bibliographer, Merle Johnson, while claiming a complete list of the sets of Twain's writings to be impossible and pointless, deemed this Definitive Edition of Twain's works important enough to include in his bibliography on p. 151.
Set number 855 in an edition which consists of one thousand twenty-four sets. Knowing that this set would be in the production stages for a number of years, Twain signed the tipped-in flyleaf of the first volume in 1906, just 4 years before his death. He has signed using both his birth name and his pseudonym, "S. L. Clemens" and "Mark Twain." Twain's biographer, and a contributor to this set, Albert Bigelow Paine, has signed opposite this page below the printed statement: "This fly-leaf was signed by Mark Twain in 1906 in anticipation of the present definitive edition of his works."