New York: Charles L. Webster. 1889. First American edition, published four days after the London (Chatto & Windus) edition. The Chatto & Windus edition was published as A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur. Without the fly-title that is sometimes printed on p. [i]; both forms of the book were published simultaneously. Blanck notes that only the earliest state of the book included a “small, S-like ornament” between the words in the caption “THE KING” on p. . This copy does not have the ornamen. Illustrated throughout. Slight marginal toning. Two-inch open tear to one plate (p. 199), not touching the illustration. A clean, attractive, near-fine copy, rarely found in this condition. Publisher’s half morocco variant binding. Marbled edges and endpapers. Octavo. [i]-[xvi], 17-575, [2 ads] pp. Item #17144
The present work, along with many other popular novels of the time, was sold by subscription. Salespeople went door-to-door with dummy copies so buyers could select the binding variant they wished to order. The half morocco binding of the present work was the luxury option offered by these sellers, and is rarely found in this condition due to the softness of the morocco. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is a satire of monarchism that grapples with capitalism, technological advancement, and challenges to democratic ideals in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. It is also cited, along with the work of H.G. Wells and Edward Bellamy, as an early example of the time travel subgenre in science fiction.