Illustrating Jim in 1947


  In 1954 Doubleday published two essentially identical illustrated editions of Huck Finn, one under its Doubleday Classics imprint and another for its Junior Deluxe Club. Featuring books for juvenile readers, the Club was a marketing instrument modeled on Doubleday's Book-of-the-Month Club. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was also sold by the Club, and one of the series' regular artists, Richard M. Powers, illustrated both books; the unusual representation of Tom that appears on the cover of Huck's book (left) is based on Powers' drawing of him in Tom Sawyer. MT himself also emphasized the connection between Huck's book and Tom's in Huck Finn's subtitle -- "Tom Sawyer's Comrade" -- and in the advertising for it, but of course Tom never appears on the raft. Huck's actual companion there is Jim, who makes his first appearance in the Doubleday volumes' dramatic frontispiece. Sometime after 1954 Doubleday put out a Junior Deluxe Edition with a dust jacket drawn by another, unidentified artist; there the novel is represented by a version of the image of Huck, Jim and the raft that became iconic by the end of the 20th century. In addition to the frontispiece, Jim figures in 13 of the 43 black-and-white chapter headpieces that Powers drew. You can see them all by clicking on the images below.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, Illustrated by Richard M. Powers. Garden City, New York: Junior Deluxe Editions, 1954. Courtesy the University of North Carolina Wilmington Library.

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