Hard Cover. Hartford: American Publishing Company, 1897. First Edition. Very Good.
First edition, first issue. Illustrated by Frank Berkeley Smith, Frederick Dielman, Peter Newell, et al. Bound in the publisher's decorative blue cloth designed and signed by Frank Berkeley Smith, decorated and lettered in gilt to the spine, color elephant illustration onlay, with gilt decorative borders to the front cover. A very good copy, extremities lightly worn and rubbed, spine gilt dimmed and toned. BAL 3451. Following the Equator is a travelogue based on the author's 1895 trip around the British Empire. In an attempt to get himself out of debt, Twain planned the tour around locations in which he could give English lectures for a stipend, including South Africa, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, and India. In addition to the travelogue, Following the Equator contains Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar in the form of one maxim at the start of each chapter. This volume's binding is appropriately designed by Frank Berkeley Smith, who authored his own travel books. In addition to the cover designs, Smith also created illustrations and chapter decorations for this text. Frank Berkeley Smith (1869-1931) was an author, artist, and designer, known for his poster-style designs. The poster-style was made possible by new lithographic and Japanese woodblock printing techniques and was popularized in the late 1800's in France. Smith's bindings evoke this aesthetic and are hallmarked by his frequent use of thick outlines. He was the son of author, artist, and civil engineer Francis Hopkinson Smith. Frank Smith designed book covers for many of his father's books, as well his own books.