CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain") (1835-1910). The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. London: Chatto and Windus, 1876.
8° (195 x 138 mm). Half-title; advertisements. Original publisher's red cloth, upper cover blocked in black and gilt, spine printed in black and gilt, yellow endpapers (hinges starting, slight fraying at ends of spine, a few small, pale stains).
FIRST EDITION. "The irresponsibility, the love of odd adventure, and the sense of natural justice as opposed to the village code, which characterize the heroes of this book and its sequel Huckleberry Finn, presented a sharp contrast to the Sunday School or rags-to-riches literature which was then the common fare doled out to children... these books let fresh air into the minds of parents who had shut the door on their own childhood, and they will be classics the world over as long as there are boys" (Grolier). Published 9 June 1876, the English edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the true first edition. Mark Twain did not want an American edition published until the novel had first appeared in England, thus securing a British copyright. But the American edition was further delayed, and not published until nearly 6 months after this English edition. BAL 3367; Grolier, American 79.