Hard Cover. New York: C. H. Webb, 1867. First Edition. Very Good.
First edition, first printing, with unbroken type to p. 66 and p. 168, publisher's 1 pp. advertisement leaf inserted preceding title. Publisher's plum cloth over beveled boards, lettered in gilt to front board and spine with frog illustration stamped in gilt to lower left corner of front board in a diagonal position with the head pointing towards upper right corner, frog stamped in blind to rear board in the same position, with brown coated endpapers. A very good or better copy with toning to spine and wear to extremities, particularly at spine ends, slight lean to spine, a few faint stains to cloth and top edge of text block, interior very clean. Overall, a handsome and completely unsophisticated copy often found restored or otherwise repaired. BAL 3310. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches is Mark Twain's first book, and the titular story was also his first major writing success. In this tale, an unnamed narrator recounts a chance story he heard from a bartender about the bold gambler Jim Smiley and his notorious jumping frog. Notably, Twain made several edits to "The Celebrated Jumping Frog" before its publication in this collection; the story was original published as "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" in the Saturday Press in New York on November 18, 1865, and was reprinted in several literary magazines before being published under its present title (albeit with the bartender's name changed) in The Californian in December of the same year. By the time of this collection's publication, Twain's literary fame was secured. As the editor agrees in his prefatory advertisement, "By his story of the Frog, [Twain] scaled the heights of popularity at a single jump." In addition to the titular story, this volume contains "Among the Spirits," "Literature in the Dry Diggins," "Origin of Illustrious Men," "Remarkable Instances of Presence of Mind," "A Strange Dream" and "A Page from a California Almanac," among others.