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CLEMENS, SAMUEL LANGHORNE. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. New York: Charles L. Webster 1889. Small 4to, original pictorial green cloth, endpapers cracking at inner hinges, green cloth slipcase. FIRST EDITION, earliest state of p. [59], lower left corner of p. 72 with type wear, gray-blue endpapers, the rare variant with a half-title printed on the recto of the frontispiece leaf (p. [i]), profusely illustrated by Dan Beard, PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed by Clemens on front flyleaf: "Geo. L. Bell with compts of The Author 1889" (as copyright date was 5 December 1889, this copy was inscribed during the month of publication). The recipient, George L. Bell, was a Pratt & Whitney toolmaker who worked on the compositor invented by James W. Paige and knew Mark Twain well. Twain was the principal financial backer of Paige's typesetting machine; and he visited the Pratt & Whitney factory where it was being built on 5 January 1889, and on numerous other occasions. He dreamed of making millions when the machine would be perfected, but it never was. In fifteen years Twain had invested some $200,000 in its development and by 1895 he had lost every penny. BAL 3429: "Some copies have a fly-title [i.e., half-title] printed on p. [i]; other copies have p. [i] wholly blank. The sequence has not been determined but both printings of the prospectus...have the fly-title present..."; Johnson/Clemens, p. 51: "In a few copies...a half title has been noted printed on the recto of the frontispiece. These copies are so rare that wanting further evidence they must be regarded as freaks." Johnson considers the type wear on p. 72 an indication of a "later" copy; BAL does not note this point. Bookplate of Harriet Borland. A rare early presentation copy in fine, bright condition.

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CLEMENS, SAMUEL LANGHORNE. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. New York: Charles L. Webster 1889. Small 4to, original pictorial green cloth, endpapers cracking at inner hinges, green cloth slipcase. FIRST EDITION, earliest state of p. [59], lower left corner of p. 72 with type wear, gray-blue endpapers, the rare variant with a half-title printed on the recto of the frontispiece leaf (p. [i]), profusely illustrated by Dan Beard, PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed by Clemens on front flyleaf: "Geo. L. Bell with compts of The Author 1889" (as copyright date was 5 December 1889, this copy was inscribed during the month of publication). The recipient, George L. Bell, was a Pratt & Whitney toolmaker who worked on the compositor invented by James W. Paige and knew Mark Twain well. Twain was the principal financial backer of Paige's typesetting machine; and he visited the Pratt & Whitney factory where it was being built on 5 January 1889, and on numerous other occasions. He dreamed of making millions when the machine would be perfected, but it never was. In fifteen years Twain had invested some $200,000 in its development and by 1895 he had lost every penny. BAL 3429: "Some copies have a fly-title [i.e., half-title] printed on p. [i]; other copies have p. [i] wholly blank. The sequence has not been determined but both printings of the prospectus...have the fly-title present..."; Johnson/Clemens, p. 51: "In a few copies...a half title has been noted printed on the recto of the frontispiece. These copies are so rare that wanting further evidence they must be regarded as freaks." Johnson considers the type wear on p. 72 an indication of a "later" copy; BAL does not note this point. Bookplate of Harriet Borland. A rare early presentation copy in fine, bright condition.
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