San Francisco: The Book Club of California, 1959. First publication of these two stories and illustrations. One of 450 copies printed at the Grabhorn Press for the Colt Press. Designed by Jane Grabhorn. With a frontisportrait of Twain; a reproduced photo of his daughters; and two reproduced illustrations of cats by Twain – “They are, it is believed, the only known examples of pictorial art by Mark Twain,” (prospectus). Handset in in Elzevir type and printed in red and black. Some toning to endpapers. In the original plain white dust jacket (with “Cats by Mark Twain” added later in ink). A near fine copy with the original prospectus laid in. Original patterned paper boards printed in red and black. With black linen spine and printed paper spine label. Quarto. xvi, 29 pp. Item #16915
From the prospectus: “It is not generally known that Twain was an ailurophile or, in less fancy language, a lover of cats. Among his papers…two sketches that exemplify this love were discovered. The sketches were written for his three small daughters and were written with all the charm and skill as if intended for publication. Possibly he planned at some later date to polish and round them off, and either forgot or never found time to do so…“In addition to writing out these stories for his children, he embellished one with two small, amusing drawings, rather reminiscent of Edward Lear’s illustrations for the Nonsense Books. They are, it is believed, the only known examples of pictorial art by Mark Twain. Concerning Cats…contains a long and informative introduction by Frederick Anderson, assistant to the editor of the Mark Twain estate.”.
The 200th Book of the Book Club of California, #102.