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

Year: 1897

Publisher: Chatto & Windus

Place: London

Description:

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.

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.

Condition:

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


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