Described as "the father of American literature", Mark Twain's legacy as a writer and satirist lives on through the amazing body of work he left behind. Real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens, his stories have entered into American folklore and remain a treasured part of the nation's cultural history.
Although best-known for his tales of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Twain was also a renowned travel writer and his two volumes detailing journeys throughout Europe, 'The Innocents Abroad' (1869) and 'A Tramp Abroad' (1880), show insights into international travel (and the culture-clashes therein) that are still relevant today.
Later today (November 18) collectors will get the chance to own an important piece of literary history, when the original handwritten manuscript comprising chapter XLII of 'A Tramp Abroad' goes under the hammer at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago. The manuscript, one of the best pieces of Mark Twain memorabilia to ever appear, has an estimated value of $30,000 - $50,000 but due to its rare nature this could go much higher.
The original handwritten Mark Twain manuscript
has an estimate of $30,000 - $50,000
This amazing 38-page artefact contains numerous crossed-out passages and revisions, and is bound together with pages from the printed edition in blue morocco. It has a printed title page stating "Mark Twain / Switzerland / Chapter XLII. / A Tramp Abroad / Original Autograph Manuscript" and the title stamped in gilt on its front cover.
It begins with a description of Switzerland as "a large, humpy, solid rock, with a thin skin of grass stretched over it", and goes on to describe the manner and customer of the Swiss people.
Manuscripts such as this are extremely rare and seldom appear on the market. Not only does it offer an insight into the mind of one of the America's greatest authors, but it gives collectors the chance to invest in a man whose significance grows stronger every year.
Items connected to Twain (such as this signed pamphlet available here) are extremely sought-after, and such is his stature that they are bound to offer excellent financial returns. With his books taught in schools across the globe and 50,000 tourists flocking to his former Connecticut home each year his place in the heart of American culture is assured, and in investment terms they don't come much more solid than that.
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