(CLEMENS, SAMUEL L. - FORGERY). HAWEIS, H. R.
MARK TWAIN AND BRET HARTE.(New York: John B. Alden, 1900]). 191 x 127 mm (7 1/2 x 5"). 1 p.l., -192 pp.,  leaves (three additional blank leaves in front, and 27 at rear, added by binder).
Contemporary Spanish style three-quarter variegated maroon morocco over green cloth, raised bands, spine panelled in gilt with rules and lozenge centerpiece, mottled fabric endpapers, linen hinges, top edge gilt. TITLE PAGE WITH THE (FRAUDULENT) AUTOGRAPHS OF BRET HARTE AND S. L. CLEMENS/(MARK TWAIN). Last blank leaf with inscribed note of provenance, "added to my father's . . . collection of first editions of Mark Twain," signed by Eugene Field II, and dated 2 September 1923. Title page with upper corner and significant portion of border at top cut away (with the note "no fault of mine" pencilled below), extremities a bit rubbed, leaves very slightly toned, otherwise only trivial faults, and internally and externally in excellent condition.
Haweis was an English clergyman who produced inspirational and moral literature, but who also had a taste for funny, lively novels and tales depicting America, which was to him a distant land of madcap adventures and rugged individuals. He has thoroughly enjoyed his reading of Twain and Harte and is an appreciative critic. Quite apart from the content, this volume is particularly desirable as bearing the very convincing but forged signatures of Twain and Harte on the title page. Once in the library of the newspaper columnist, poet, and bibliophile Eugene Field (1850-95), the book passed into the hands of his son and namesake, whose main achievement in life was to perfect the forged signatures of authors whose books had been in his father's library, and particularly the signature of Clemens/Twain. Other Twain items that share the history of ours include copies of "Innocents Abroad," "Gilded Age," "Connecticut Yankee," and "Tramp Abroad," all sold at Swann Galleries on 17 October 1991, as well as the Doheny copy of "Tom Sawyer Abroad," sold three years earlier. The signatures here are absolutely convincing. (ST8425)