Title Black Fire The True Story of the Original Tom Sawyer--and of the Mysterious Fires That Baptized Gold Rush-Era San Francisco
Book Condition Very Good+ in Very Good dust jacket
Edition First Edition; First Printing
Publisher New York Crown 2012
030772056X / 9780307720566
Seller ID 18415
Light wear to DJ. Remainder dot on bottom page edges. Previous owner's initials on FFEP.; A bright, solid book, dustjacket in Mylar, unclipped. ; 9.30 X 6.60 X 1.20 inches; 268 pages; "The first biography of the little-known real-life Tom Sawyer (a friend of Mark Twain during his brief tenure as a California newspaper reporter), told through a harrowing account of Sawyer's involvement in the hunt for a serial arsonist who terrorized mid-nineteenth century San Francisco.When 28-year-old San Francisco Daily Morning Call reporter Mark Twain met Tom Sawyer at a local bathhouse in 1863, he was seeking a subject for his first novel. As Twain steamed, played cards, and drank beer with Sawyer (a volunteer firefighter, customs inspector, and local hero responsible for having saved ninety lives at sea), he had second thoughts about Shirley Tempest, his proposed book about a local girl firefighter, and began to envision a novel of wider scope. Twain learned that a dozen years earlier the then eighteen-year-old New York-born Sawyer had been a “Torch Boy,” one of the youths who raced ahead of the volunteer firemen’s hand-drawn engines at night carrying torches to light the way, always aware that a single spark could reduce the all-wood city of San Francisco to ashes in an instant. At that time a mysterious serial arsonist known by some as “The Lightkeeper” was in the process of burning San Francisco to the ground six times in eighteen months – the most disastrous and costly series of fires ever experienced by any American metropolis."
tom Sawyer San Francisco Mark twain