1601 A Tudor Fireside Conversation As Written by the Ingenuous, Virtuous and learned Mark Twain, wit., Embellished by the worthy Alan Odle, Mark Twain, illustrations Alan Odle (Land’s End Press, USA, 1969, stated “At London, Printed for Subscribers Only and are to be sold at ye beare Back-Side in Maiden Lane”)
8.75″x11.25″, 24pp (unpaginated), hardbound with mylar-protected dust jacket, red boards with gilt titles
[Date: 1601.] Conversation, as it was the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors is the title of a humorous work by Mark Twain, first published anonymously in 1880. Edward Wagenknecht once referred to it as “the most famous piece of pornography in American literature.” Its content is irreverent and vulgar rather than obscene, and its purpose seems to be comedic shock rather than erotic arousal. It would thus qualify as ribaldry rather than pornography. Twain wrote 1601 during the summer of 1876 (between writing Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn), for the amusement of his closest friend, Reverend Joseph Twichell, 1601 was later first published by another friend, John Hay, who later became Secretary of State. The work circulated among printers (due to it’s often archaic type font) and many small batches were printed, however the authorship of the work remained unverified until Twain finally acknowledged he wrote it in 1906.