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Adventures of Huckleberry FinnAdventures of Huckleberry Finn, frontispiece, title-pageAdventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ch XII

“I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: ‘All right, then, I’ll GO to hell.’”

Mark Twain (1835-1910)
London: Chatto & Windus, 1884
First English edition

Written over an eight year period, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was at first blasted by the critics for, among other things, “blood-curdling humor,” immorality, coarseness, and profanity. The story is still banned by libraries and schools in the United States. Nonetheless, it is one of the defining novels of American literature. Ernest Hemingway said of it, “All modern literature comes from [it]. It’s the best book we’ve had…There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.” It was published in England a few months before the American edition was published. Publisher’s advertisements in the back of this copy are dated October 1884. This copy is thread-sewn, one of two states of gatherings for the first English edition. Bound in original gilt-and black-stamped red pictorial cloth.