Recently sold is an original, intact copy of Mark Twain's first nationally published story, "Forty-three Days in an Open Boat", by Mark Swain (pp. 104-113). As originally found in (paper wraps) Harper's Monthly Magazine, December 1866. This is an extremely rare and sought-after Twain first; published anonymously and in the individual issue, most collectors settle for the 6-month bound volume, as it is less rare and far less fragile (yet still very desirable - one bound volume recently sold on Ebay for $334).Book Description: Harper & Brothers December 1866, New York, 1866. Volume 34, Issue #199. General soiling. Good or better and scarce in wraps. Original printed wraps. Usually found, when at all, in the bound volume with other issues, this is very scarce in original wraps and notable for containing Mark Twain's first appearance in print in a national magazine, predating his first book. Published anonymously in the individual issues, the story is attributed in the table of contents in the bound volumes to "Mark Swain," as Twain had yet to gain national recognition, though his "jumping frog" story was just beginning to spread in newspapers throughout America. First Edition Printed wraps.A description of the events by Twain himself, taken from 'My Debut as a Literary Person':
"This was in 1866. I prepared my contribution, and then looked around for the best magazine to go up to glory in. I selected the most important one in New York. The contribution was accepted. I signed it 'MARK TWAIN;' for that name had some currency on the Pacific coast, and it was my idea to spread it all over the world, now, at this one jump. The article appeared in the December number, and I sat up a month waiting for the January number; for that one would contain the year's list of contributors, my name would be in it, and I should be famous and could give the banquet I was meditating.
I did not give the banquet. I had not written the 'MARK TWAIN' distinctly; it was a fresh name to Eastern printers, and they put it 'Mike Swain' or 'MacSwain,' I do not remember which. At any rate, I was not celebrated and I did not give the banquet. I was a Literary Person, but that was all--a buried one; buried alive."
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