by [Authors Club] Mark TWAIN, Theodore ROOSEVELT, Andrew CARNEGIE, et. al.
New York:: Authors Club, 1893., 1893. Folio. xvi, , 588,  pp. Title printed in red and black, decorative headpieces, initials, decorative endleaves. Original dark brown decorative black- and gilt-tooled calf; minor neat repairs. Bookplate of HENRY WILLIAM POOR, embossed stamps of Reagan Samuel Bond. SIGNED BY 109 PERSONS INCLUDING MARK TWAIN & THEODORE ROOSEVELT. Very good. Limited edition of 251 numbered copies, this being copy #20. The edition features SIGNED ESSAYS BY ALL 109 CONTRIBUTORS, printed and bound by club member Theodore Low De Vinne. The contents feature: "A Californian's Tale" by MARK TWAIN, "A Shot at Bull Elk" by Theodore Roosevelt, "Genius Illustrated from Burns" by Andrew Carnegie, each SIGNED by Twain, Roosevelt and Carnegie. / As Rossiter Johnson observes in the preface, the most difficult part of publishing this book was arranging to have all the copies signed by all 109 contributors, as many of them were compulsive travelers. "Every article, in every copy of the book, is singed by its author with pen and ink. In this feature it is unique. The obtaining of these signatures proved to be the most difficult problem connected with the task. Several of the contributors were in Europe, one was just setting out for Japan, another was suddenly ordered by his physician to cruise in the Mediterranean, another was possessed by a desire to see the Hawaiian Islands, and two others appeared to the committee to have nothing to do but cross the Atlantic in the wrong direction while the sheets they were to sign were passing them in mid-ocean on another steamer. Every precaution was taken to elude the proverbial stupidity of custom-houses. Special tin boxes were devised and fastened with buckled leather straps, so that they could be opened easily and examined; while the outside of the package bore a large label, printed in four languages, explaining the nature of the contents and why they were traveling about in such an unaccountable manner, and appealing to revenue officers, as the loved the cause of letters, not to mislay, soil, or unnecessarily detain the precious papers." –Editing Committee, from the preface. / The original goal was to raise funds for a clubhouse in New York, however, by the time the signatures had all been collected, Carnegie had donated a suite of rooms in New York, so the profits from the publication went towards the decoration of the clubhouse. PROVENANCE:  Henry William Poor (1844-1915), was a New York banker and the son of Henry Varnum Poor, who founded the company that would eventually become Standard & Poor's. He was a profound bibliophile of the highest order. Among the books he either wrote or that featured his remarkable library are: American bookbindings in the library of Henry William Poor, compiled by Henri Pène du Bois (1903). Forced to liquidate his library due to stock and investment issues, the collection was sold at Anderson Galleries, New York, in 1908-9: Catalogue of the library of Henry W. Poor ... Masterpieces of printing; illuminated and other manuscripts, English literature of the Elizabethan and later periods; a rare collection of the English authors of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; illustrated and extra-illustrated books; association books of remarkable interest; rare and artistic bookbindings; Americana; autographs and private book-club publications.  Reagan Samuel Bond was a book collector, formerly of Dallas, Texas, and San Diego, Calif. BAL. 1283, 3438.
(Inventory #: LV2327)
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