First edition, first issue of Mark Twain's Christian Science
TWAIN, Mark. [Samuel L. Clemens].
Item Number: 132377
New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1907.
First edition, first issue of Clemens’ collected essays on Christian Science with frontispiece dated 1906, preliminaries with 17 titles on list of “Uniform Editions” on the copyright page, and the list of illustrations on page (iii) set in six lines (including the heading). BAL 3497. Octavo, original cloth, illustrated, tissue-guarded frontispiece. From the library of William Safire with his bookplate to the pastedown. William Safire was an important American author, columnist, journalist, and presidential speechwriter and a close friend of the then Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin. Safire joined Nixon’s campaign for the 1960 Presidential race, and again in 1968. After Nixon’s 1968 victory, Safire served as a speechwriter for him and Spiro Agnew. He authored several political columns in addition to his weekly column “On Language” in The New York Times Magazine from 1979 until the month of his death and authored two books on grammar and linguistics: The New Language of Politics (1968) and what Zimmer called Safire’s “magnum opus,” Safire’s Political Dictionary. Safire later served as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board from 1995 to 2004 and in 2006 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. In near fine condition.
Christian Science is a collection of essays first published in Cosmopolitan in 1899. Although Twain was interested in mental healing and the ideas behind Christian Science, he was hostile towards its founder, Mary Baker Eddy. "A tour de force of penetrating wit and clean analysis, revealing both his skill in polemics and his disdain for obscure grandiosity and sham spirituality. The work's subject is a natural result of Twain's lifelong fascination with the supernatural" (Le Master & Wilson, 144). Twain's daughter Susy had, like her father, a great interest in "mind cures" and the tenets of Christian Science. Her death from meningitis at the age of 24 may account for the intensity of Twain's attack on Mary Baker Eddy and her religion.