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Letters From The Sandwich Islands
San Francisco: The Grabhorn Press, 1937. One of 550 Copies In The Scarce Dust jacket [GRABHORN PRESS, The]. TWAIN, Mark. Letters From The Sandwich Islands. Written For The Sacramento Union. Introduction & Conclusion by G. Ezra Dane. Illustrations by Dorothy Grover. San Francisco: The Grabhorn Press, 1937. First edition, limited to 550 copies. Octavo (9 1/2 x 6 1/4 in; 238 x 155 mm). [4, blank], xii, [2], 224, [1, colophon], [7, blank] pp. Title page illustration and twenty-two headpieces in color. Publisher's original oxford gray cloth over printed green paper boards. In the scarce dust jacket, with stain at fore edges. A fine copy. First appearance of these letters in book form. One of 1937's Fifty Books of the Year. "Hearing Layne read Mark Twain's newspaper dispatches from Hawaii gives one the invigorating sense of visiting an exotic locale as well as a different era. Those who treat themselves to these blustery, spirited letters will experience a journey in every sense of the word. Before writing his first novel, the penniless journalist got a four-month-long gig writing about his travels in the "the loveliest fleet of islands that lie anchor in any ocean." Layne reads the letters as Twain might have, not backing down during parts that may sound questionable to modern ears (e.g., Twain's repeated congratulations to the missionaries for quashing native customs). In this thoughtfully abridged collection, one letter may rhapsodize about scenery while the next delves into death rituals for a native princess; the result is a listening experience that feels balanced, not overdone. Though few people other than lovers of Hawaii will likely tune in to these letters, those who do will never see their favorite vacation spot (or home) in quite the same way again. They will also receive a reminder of why Twain's legacy has endured." Based on the University of Hawaii Press paperback. BAL 3558. Heller & Magee 266.
      [Bookseller: David Brass Rare Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2017-06-14           Check availability:      Biblio    

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