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Author: Mark Twain [PSUED Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)

Year: 1897

Publisher: Chatto & Windus

Place: London


486+[32 ads] pages. Small Octavo ( 7 3/4" x 5 1/2") bound in original publisher's maroon cloth with embossed cover and gilt lettering to cover and spine. (BAL 3453; McBride page 199) First British edition of Following the Equator.

This is the English edition of Following the Equator, with significant textual differences: it contains 6,000 words deleted from the American edition, deletes 1,400 words found in the American edition, and has different chapter divisions. BAL states that this English edition preceded the American edition by a few days. The edition was 5,000 copies according to the C & W ledgers.

Twain was practically bankrupt in 1894 due to a failed investment into a "revolutionary" typesetting machine. In an attempt to extricate himself from debt of $100,000 (equivalent of about $2.5 million in 2010) he undertook a tour of the British Empire in 1895, a route chosen to provide numerous opportunities for lectures in English. The book is an account of Twain's travel published in 1897. It is a social commentary, critical of racism towards Blacks, Asians, and Indigenous groups; oppressive imperialism in the British Empire; and religious intolerance through missionary efforts. Twain included a number of fictional stories in the body of what is otherwise a non-fiction work. In particular, the story of how Cecil Rhodes made his fortune by finding a newspaper in the belly of a shark, and the story of how a man named Ed Jackson made good in life out of a fake letter of introduction to Cornelius Vanderbilt, The British edition contains some material not included in the American and occasionally has a different construction.


Spine sunned, corners bumped, moderate rubbing to spine ends, previous name on author's page else a very good copy.

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