West Hatfield: Pennyroyal Press, Printed by Harold McGrath, 1985. Moser, Barry. Limited Edition. Leather bound. No. 188 of 350 copies, folio size, 453 pp., signed by Barry Moser, with an extra suite of prints and poster prospectus, in a slipcase. Fine. Item #21101902
One of America's most esteemed writers Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), better known by his pen name of Mark Twain, created classic characters and stories that have endured for generations; his writing is characterised by his wit and humour, evident in both his fiction and nonfiction.
Certainly one of the "great American novels", this publication of "Huck Finn", by Barry Moser's Pennyroyal Press is brought to life by the forty-nine wood engraving illustrations Moser prepared, most of which are character studies. However, one will also find "nocturnal riverscapes, riverboats and rafts, pigs and bags of snakes". An art critic for "newsweek", John Ashbery, "commented on Moser's wood engravings, saying that they are 'never less than dazzling'..." (n.b., info and quote from the poster prospectus (see details below).
The text itself "required seven years of painstaking work to restore the text to its original form, free from the usual kinds of corruption and error introduced by typists, typesetters, proofreaders, and even its author" (n.b., from the prospectus). The "Note on the Text" by Robert Hirst (General Editor, Mark Twain Project, at the University of California) can be found at the end of the book, and is well worth the reading.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full green leather, the front board with calligraphic, intertwined dates of "1885" and "1985" (1885 being the first edition publication date, this Pennyroyal Press edition intentionally published exactly one hundred years later, and "formally published on that date at Mark Twain's home in Hartford, Connecticut" (per prospectus)), the dates surrounded by a double gilt circle, both boards with four narrow gilt ruled borders, the spine with gilt lettering and ruled borders at head and tail, textured paper endpapers of light brown to appear as wooden planks, title page in black with the same intertwining two dates in yellow, sectional title page in black and red, the forty-nine plates bound in throughout, one of 350 numbered copies; Centaur and Arrighi types set in monotype, printed on Mohawk Letterpress (an archival paper), folio size (13" by 10 1/8"), pagination: [i-xiv] xv-xxiii  [1-2] 3-419 [1, blank] [1, colophon, signed by Barry Moser]. With the additional suite of forty-nine plates encased in a linen-covered stiff folder, the book and folder in a matching linen-covered slipcase. Loosely laid into the book is a single sheet of light brown cardstock paper (measuring 9 7/16" by 6 1/16") with "Huckleberry Finn" in red lettering, the Moser wood engraving of Huck finn above; also laid in is a prospectus in poster form, folded twice for mailing (measuring 23 5/8" by 15 3/8" when open) which was kindly sent to us by Barry Moser.
___CONDITION: Fine, the leather boards smooth and supple, without wear, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; clean, crisp, and as new. The suite of plates also fine, without wear, its folder fine also, without wear although with a few light scattered spots of foxing. The illustration of Huck Finn fine, clean and without wear; the poster prospectus near fine, clean with some light creasing. The slipcase near fine, strong and sturdy, with overall foxing and a few spots of very light wear to the cloth. Overall a fine example of a remarkable publication.
___POSTAGE: Please note that this is an extremely heavy work and additional postage may apply; please inquire for details.
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