TWAIN, Mark (Samuel L. Clemens) (1835-1910)
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches
“The Most Famous Tale in California, if Not Western, History”(Kurutz)
Clemens got the idea for this tale as he heard it told around the pot belly stove in the general store in Angels Camp, California. Mark Twain the humorist had been "born" in the Territorial Enterprise during Clemens’ tenure as editor of that paper in Virginia City. He submitted this work to his friend Artemus Ward for inclusion in a book of humorous stories Ward was then publishing in New York. Unfortunately, the submission arrived too late for inclusion. However, Clemens’ friend, Charles Webb, arranged to publish the "Frog" as the lead story in a book of additional material by Clemens. Some of the stories were re-published in later years; some tales were not. Because of this being the earliest book of Twain’s stories, the humor is somewhat uneven, giving us a glimpse of this giant of American literature as he was beginning to mature
C. H. Webb, New York: 1867. Green cloth hardcover. First Edition, Second Issue of Twain’s first book. 12 mo. 198 pages. Original green cloth, beveled boards, gilt- stamped cover and spine titles, gilt-stamped frog lower left corner of upper cover; expertly partially re-cased, spine ends restored. Housed in a green clamshell case, gilt-stamped spine title, rule and date.
One of the most elusive first editions of Clemens, this book was issued in an edition of a little over 1000 copies. Twenty or so days later, another 550 copies were printed from the same stereotype plates. The only difference between the issues (as per BAL) is that the first issue has a single cream-colored leaf of advertisements inserted at the front, and individual letters of type at pages 66 and 198 are undamaged. This copy shows the battered type and no evidence of the advertising leaf and is therefore a second issue. The binding was issued in several different color cloth (without priority), and the gilt- stamped frog on the cover is in the lower left corner; some copies are known with the frog facing the top of the book, in the middle of the upper cover. Again, no priority is assigned
Book previously owned by “Ella France Gage, Shasta Cal, The lady of Fountain House” written in pencil on rear pastedown.
BAL 3310, Sloan: Volkmann
Zamorano 80: Number 17
A Very Presentable Second Issue of Twain’s First Book