Is Shakespeare Dead? Mark Twain.
Is Shakespeare Dead?
Is Shakespeare Dead?
Is Shakespeare Dead?

Is Shakespeare Dead?

New York, NY: Harper & Brothers, 1909. First Edition. Hardcover. Subtitled "From My Autobiography," this is a very late, short nonfictional work in the oeuvre of Samuel Langhorne Clemens a/k/a Mark Twain, the canonical American humorist & author. In this volume, Twain weighs in on the controversy as to the authorship of the immortal dramatic works attributed to William Shakespeare. Twain concludes that it was Shakespeare's contemporary Francis Bacon who was the actual playwright, & inserts chapter eight from George Greenwood's "The Shakespeare Problem Restated" as the eighth chapter in this work, as credited in a footnote (pg. 79) & publisher's note opposite copyright page. There is also an autobiographical aspect per subtitle above, in which Twain recounts his discussion of the Shakespeare authorship controversy as a young man. Hardcover in dark green cloth with gilt lettering on front cover & spine, "Published April, 1909" as stated on copyright page. With frontispiece full-body sculptural portraits of Shakespeare & Bacon. There is no extra leaf at the end advertising Greenwood's book, which was inserted into later printings, therefore confirming that this is a first printing. See McBride, pg. 233, which also mentions a blank "...plain brown paper unprinted dust jacket with an oval cutout at the spine title" on one of its two copies of this edition, not present here & apparently unimportant. This is an ex-library copy, but with no references as such on paste-downs or endpapers (see condition below). A very interesting & late work where Twain applies his famous skepticism to literary scholarship-criticism mixed with memoir, in what we believe to be its rarest & most collectible original form. In relatively good unrestored condition with mild-to-moderate rubbing, scratching & spotting to front, back covers & esp. spine (the latter where library references appear to have been rubbed off with some loss of green, & with hardly any loss or fading of gilt on front cover or spine); mostly moderate wear to edges & corners of same incl. mild fraying & slight loss of cloth at all corners & spine-edges; mild rubbing, browning & occasional small spot-staining to side & lower edges of text block, uncut as issued; moderate rubbing, scratching & fading to gilt, cut upper edge of same. Interior good-to-near-fine with vintage purple library stamp at blank area between publisher's logo & reference on title page, ", pseud." written in ink next to printed "Mark Twain," evidence of slight erasure at blank area below same & above logo also on title page; library-related numerals & letter hand-written in heavy pencil at blank upper margin of copyright page; same library stamp as above on pg. 53 near lower margin, slightly overlapping with text but not rendering it illegible; very slight browning & occasional spotting or small areas of rubbing at mostly blank margins of page leaves; series of tiny, diminishing pinholes & dimples at upper outer corners of twelve leaves (pgs. 77-100, as if stapled & then removed?); slight breakage-loosening between front paste-down, endpaper & two leaves (pgs. 105-108) from binding, but all leaves & binding fully intact. Good. [Item #4458]

Price: $200.00