Hard Cover. New York: Charles L. Webster, 1885. First Edition. Very Good.
Illustrated by Edward Windsor Kemble. First edition, first issue, with the following first issue points: cancel title leaf with the copyright notice dated 1884 (indicative of second state), p. 9 with "Decided", p. 13 with the illustration "Him and Another Man" listed as page 88 (BAL's first state), p. 57 with "with the was" (first state), p. 283 with a straight fly on a cancel leaf (third state), p. 155 with the final '5' lacking (first state), p. 161 lacking the signature mark, leaf 238 present as final blank, frontispiece in first state with tablecloth clearly visible and Heliotype Printing Company imprint. Original publisher's decorative green cloth, with an illustration of Huck Finn to the front panel in black and gilt, lettered in black and gilt, pale peach endpapers. A very good copy with wear and some fraying to the extremities and corners, a few small spots and small stain to the lower rear board; internally, generally very clean, front hinge repaired, a few small chips to frontis' outer edge and contemporary former owner inscription from 1885 to the first blank. Overall, a handsome copy with the first issue points. BAL 3415. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a pseudo companion novel to Twain's highly successful The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876); although both are set in the antebellum South, Tom Sawyer is the tale of a young boy's mischievous adventures, while Huckleberry Finn involves a disenfranchised youth's moral dilemmas about social conflict. Specifically, Huckleberry Finn runs away from his alcoholic father and befriends Jim, a run-away African-American slave seeking freedom in the North. The dialog of the text features local dialects drawn from Twain's experiences living in the South. When it was first published in the United States in 1885, Huckleberry Finn was highly scrutinized and was banned by several libraries. Interestingly, the text was banned not for its saturation of racist vocabulary and prejudiced world-views, but for its depiction of criminal, lower class white Americans. Although it continued to be challenged in the 20th century for its depiction and treatment of African-Americans, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remains one of the Great American Novels. Indeed, Ernest Hemingway proclaimed that it was the beginning of American literature: "There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since."