Huck Finn and the engraver’s revenge

While I wait for the caffeine to kick-start my brain, please enjoy — or, if you prefer, be outraged by — this (kinda NSFW) defaced Huck Finn picture. (Larger version here.)

An engraver modified the image plate, and the illustration made it into the novel’s first printing. Fortunately someone noticed before any Victorians suffered heart attacks.

Late in November of that year a bloodcurdling discovery was made in the New York publishing house. Some playful engraver had altered one of the plates, thereby turning an innocent illustration on Page 283 into an indecent picture, and this appeared in 30,000 copies of the book in the plant; production had to be stopped while a new plate was prepared. The offending pages were snipped from bound copies and a new one was pasted on the stubs. In unbound copies several pages, one containing the picture in its repaired state, was inserted.


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