"Since the writing of human history began, Joan of Arc is the only person, of either sex, who has ever held supreme command of the military forces of a nation at the age of seventeen": First edition, first state of Mark Twain's Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, By The Sieur Louis De Conte.
Twain, Mark. (Samuel L. Clemens).$2,000.00
Item Number: 95284
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1896.
First edition, first state of Twain’s last completed novel, published when he was 61 years old. Octavo, original cloth, elaborate gilt titles and tooling to the spine, frontispiece engraving of Joan of arc and 36 additional plates, publishers advertisements at rear with the heading “Some Books for the Library. The Abbey Shakespeare” (BAL 3446). Tasteful period bookplate from the library of New York lawyer and book collector Charles C. Auchincloss. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise case. Rare and desirable in this condition and with noted provenance.
Presented as a translation by Jean Francois Alden of Joan of Arc's page and secretary the Sieur Louis de Conte's memoirs, Twain's Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc first appeared as a serial in Harper's Magazine beginning in April of 1895. Twain, aware of his reputation as a humorist, asked that each installment appear anonymously as he desired that readers treat the piece seriously. Regardless, his authorship soon became known, and the present volume was published by Harper and Brothers in May 1896 crediting Twain as the author.