New York: Harper & Brothers, MCMIX . First Printing. Original Cloth. Purported First Issue (without publisher's note inserted after title page) of Twain's treatment of the controversy over authorship of the Shakespearean plays and poems, without explicitly espousing Sir Francis Bacon as author of that canon. One of the copies intended for export to England (most of which were recalled), with leaf inserted after final text page advertising George Greenwood's The Shakespeare Problem Restated and with "Printed in the U. S. of America" stamped below copyright notice. Demy 8vo (207 x 135mm): ,150,, with frontispiece plates from photographs of statues of Shakespeare and Bacon inserted. Publisher's vertically ribbed green T cloth, spine and up'per cover stamped in gilt, top edge gilt, others rough-trimmed; wanting the scarce dust jacket. A fine, bright copy (many pages unopened), firmly bound and clean throughout (inserted advertising leaf lightly foxed). BAL 3509. Johnson, pp. 90-91. McBride, p. 233. Fine. Item #BB1905
Twain’s debunking of the widely accepted belief that William Shakespeare wrote the works of Shakespeare. Listing the handful of established facts of Shakespeare’s life, Twain ridicules the fantasy that a largely uneducated youth could have arrived in London and, with virtually none of the necessary literary and dramatic skills, become the greatest author in English literature. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).