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Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger (First Edition: Harper & Brothers, 1916)

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    Posted 10 years ago

    AC_Dwyer
    (13 items)

    This is a first edition of Mark Twain's final novel, The Mysterious Stranger. It was published posthumously in 1916 and is about a young "Satan" who appears in a 16th century Austrian village.

    This book was my mother's. She got it from a relative of hers whose name is on the inside front cover. I have no idea if it is worth anything, but I'm an avid reader like my mother so it's hard for me to get rid of books.

    I have a whole bookcase full of books ranging from about 1910 to 1925 that were originally my grandfather's. He loved Westerns (as do I) and one set of books is Clarence Mulford's "Hopalong Cassidy" series.

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    Comments

    1. Savoychina1 Savoychina1, 10 years ago
      I checked on ABE.com and they have two 1916 copies at $250 - $275. They also have a "First Edition" from 1922 for $500. There is also a "No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger" for $1051.15" and it's a paperback ! I would recommend going there and reading the reviews...very interesting.
    2. AC_Dwyer AC_Dwyer, 10 years ago
      @ savoychina1 Thanks for telling me about the ABE.com website. I went over to it and started looking up some of the other books on my bookshelf and I almost fell out of my chair. Forget Mark Twain, I have a set of Clarence Mulford books that are listed from $450 to $650 each. I have another shelf with a bunch of Charles Alden Seltzer (another writer of Westerns). His were all basically $250 to $450.

      I had no idea that these old books had any value. I thought maybe Mark Twain did, but not the others.

      The only reason I never threw them away (my wife was always trying to get me to) was because my grandfather signed and wrote the date that he got the book on the inside front cover. Sometimes there are notes from my great-grandparents who gave him the book for his birthday or Christmas. It made it that much harder to part with the books.
    3. Savoychina1 Savoychina1, 10 years ago
      Well, GOOD FOR YOU ! How about sharing some of the covers if you can and telling us about them. ( I just lay the cover right on the scanner).

      I know what you mean...hard to get rid of family stuff.
    4. AC_Dwyer AC_Dwyer, 10 years ago
      Ah, this book business is trickier than I thought.

      As I go through some of the volumes, I'm finding that although the copyright page looks like a first edition, the title page lists a different publisher showing that it's a reprint from a few years later. Plus I'm missing the dust jackets on some. That seems to also be a kiss of death on value.

      At least I now know this Mark Twain book is definitely a first edition and the letter codes on the copywrite page will allow me to look up the exact month and year this one was printed.

      I guess I'm back to valuing this stuff because of the family ties.
    5. Savoychina1 Savoychina1, 10 years ago
      It IS tricky. Abe and Alibris are guidelines. From my experience not 5 in 100 book dealers are experts, just book sellers really. Enjoy looking them up and learning about them.
    6. kevin, 10 years ago
      I also have a Mysterious Stranger, 1916. It's printed on very thick paper that is ragged on the bottom edges, very different from the photos above. It also has an E-R designation at the bottom of the title page.
    7. AC_Dwyer AC_Dwyer, 10 years ago
      Apparently a true first edition, first printing would have a K-Q designation which translates to October 1916. I believe E-R translates to May 1917 and unfortunately mine is sometime after that. So although we both have first editions, we don't have first printings. But even so, I see later printings of the first editions (up to about 1920) in good condition selling for over $200.
    8. Deborah, 9 years ago
      I am about to auction a copy of the Mysterious Stranger on the 22nd. It also has ragged edges and N.C. Wyeth color plates. The book is beautiful and in great condition, but I have to sell it. I only hope someone will care for it as I did. The book is authentic. I am waiting to hear what he book expert has to say about month, year and E-R.
      It is printed:

      Copyright, 1916, by Harper & Brothers
      Printed in the United States of America
      Published October, 1916
      E-R
    9. AuctionLover, 9 years ago
      One is up to $40 on eBay in excellent condition. There are buy it nows for under one hundred dollars.
    10. Vicki, 9 years ago
      I have a Mysterious Stranger published in 1922 with I-D. Except for some cover issues, which aren't many, I don't think this book was ever read. Its hard cover. Any idea of its worth? And I have others. Thanks to any who answer.
    11. Vestaswind Vestaswind, 9 years ago
      What I have found about Abe's, Biblo, and the rest are these are book sellers that can afford to sit on their books forever, and not the realized price. Like Savoy said, it's a guideline only. People are using eBay completed listings as a more realistic Value. The good thing about the more rare books is that the collectors set the price. I have been pleasantly surprised several times when my books have gone higher then I expected. With that however I have also been disappointed, when they don't do very well.

      If you sell on eBay make sure it's not something you are attached to in anyway, it can be a real downer. If you do try a Buy it now or set a reserve if you don't want to let it go for a low price. It might not sell but your heart won't be broken.
    12. Vestaswind Vestaswind, 9 years ago
      Sorry "are not attached to"
    13. Kat, 9 years ago
      Love Mark Twain! :) I have a first edition too, well apparently now I know it's from 1917 instead of 16 ;) Anyway, as time passes by, I'm wondering how do I care for it? Prevent it from further deterioration. So far I've had it in my bookshelf.. not the best idea. :P Can anybody put any tips or guide me to sites that cover this topic? Thank yoU!

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