Inscribed on publication to Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) with the author’s compliments, at $25,000 (£20,750), it sold on the low estimate in Chicago on February 16.
Published by Methuen of London and illustrated with a dozen full-page plates by Will Owen, this copy was additionally inscribed on the half title “It’s a delightful book, Mark” and it seems that he later re-affirmed his opinion, and on the same page, in passing the book on to someone else.
That later note reads: “Bog House, Bermuda, March/10. I have read it about 5 times. The above verdict stands.”
Bid to $9000 (£7470) in the Chicago sale was a very different work of maritime appeal: an 1882, Putnam first of The Naval War of 1812; or, The History of the United States Navy During the Last War with Great Britain. The estimate was $1500-2500.
Theodore Roosevelt’s first published work, it appeared when he was just 23, but went on to earn a reputation as a classic of naval history.