Lot 261: TWAIN, MARK. What is Man? Inscribed and Signed, "SL. Clemens," on the front pastedown, to the wife of Frank N. Doubleday.
November 1, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: TWAIN INSCRIBES TO WIFE OF HIS PUBLISHER: FRANK NELSON DOUBLEDAY TWAIN, MARK. What is Man? Inscribed and Signed, "SL. Clemens," on the front pastedown, to the wife of Frank N. Doubleday. 4to, original boards, rebacked with new leather spine label, bumps and wear to corners and edges; bookplate of L.M. Kauffman on front free endpaper, clipped catalogue description pasted at left edge to front free endpaper, bookplate of Rhoda van Bibber Tanner on rear pastedown; cloth chemise and slipcase. New York, 1906
"This book has wandered into my / hands, & as it is too delicate & pretty for / a person like me, & just right for a / person like you, I wish to beg you to / take it. / With the affectionate regards of a / long-time friend--to wit / SL. Clemens / New York, Xmas, 1906."
first edition, second issue. 13 of 250 numbered copies of the work expressing Twain's deterministic philosophy he called his private "gospel." This is the second issue with ". . . thinks about / it" on page 131. Twain insisted that the work be published anonymously, even using Frank N. Doubleday as his go-between with DeVinne Press (James W. Bothwell, whose name appears on copyright page, was DeVinne's Superintendent). He later regretted publishing the work since it attracted so little interest. The New York Tribune revealed the authorship two days after Twain died. BAL 3490.