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Twain in His Own Time

A Biographical Chronicle of His Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates

Gary Scharnhorst

Publication Year: 2010

Never one to suffer fools gladly, especially if they wore crinolines, Mark Twain lost as many friends as he made, and he targeted them all indiscriminately. The first major American writer born west of the Mississippi River, he enjoys a reputation unrivaled in American literary history, and from the beginning of his career he tried to control that reputation by fiercely protecting his public persona. Not a debunking account of Twain’s life but refreshingly immune from his relentless image making, Gary Scharnhorst’s Twain in His Own Time offers an anecdotal version of Twain’s life over which the master spin-doctor had virtually no control.

The ninety-four recollections gathered in Twain in His Own Time form an unsanitized, collaborative biography designed to provide a multitude of perspectives on the iconic author. Opening with an interview with his mother that has never been reprinted, it includes memoirs by his daughters and by men who knew him when he was roughing it in Nevada and California, an interview with the pilot who taught him to navigate the Mississippi River, reminiscences from his illustrators E. M. Kemble and Dan Beard and two of his so-called adolescent angelfish, contributions from politicians and from such literary figures as Dan De Quille and George Bernard Shaw, and one of the most damning assessments of his character—by the author Frank Harris—ever published.

Each entry is introduced by a brief explanation of its historical and cultural context; explanatory notes provide further information about people and places; and Scharnhorst’s introduction and chronology of Twain’s eventful life are comprehensive and detailed. Dozens of lively primary sources published incrementally over more than eighty years, most recorded after his death, illustrate the complexities of this flamboyant, outspoken personality in a way that no single biographer could.


Published by: University of Iowa Press


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pp. vii-xi

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pp. xiii-xx

Mark Twain enjoys a reputation unrivaled in American literary history, and, as one of his obituarists noted, he was the “architect” of that reputation (Budd, Our Mark Twain, 19). From the start of his career, Twain tried to control his public image. He understood intuitively the advantages of favorable publicity, and he was a “genius at dramatizing his...


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pp. xxi-xxxiii

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"Mark Twain’s Boyhood: An Interview with Mrs. Jane Clemens" (1885)

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pp. 1-3

In an unpretentious two-story brick dwelling, at the intersection of High and Seventh streets, Keokuk, Iowa, lives Orion Clemens and his wife. . . . With them resides Mr. Clemens’s mother, who will be 82 years of age next June. The writer, being stranded in Keokuk for a few hours, improved the opportunity to make a call upon the venerable lady, and in the course of an hour’s pleasant conversation...

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"Mark Twain’s Childhood Sweetheart Recalls Their Romance" (1918)

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pp. 4-7

“Yes, i was the Becky Thatcher of Mr. Clemens’s book,” Mrs. Frazer said the other day as she sat in the big second-floor parlor of the old-time mansion in Hannibal, which is now the Home for the Friendless. Mrs. Frazer is the matron of the home. “Of course I suspected it when I first read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” she went on...

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"Mark Twain as a Cub Pilot: A Talk with Captain Horace Bixby" (1899)

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pp. 8-12

Captain Horace Bixby, hard upon seventy years of age, is a pilot on the Mississippi River. For half a century he has held the wheels on this and other navigable streams in the West. Today he is quite as good a pilot as he was twenty-five years ago. . . . In 1856—it may have been 1857— Captain Bixby was in charge...

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"Mark Twain" (1878)

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pp. 13

“Oh, yes! I knew Sam Clemens. I was on the boat A. B. Chambers with him the winter I was married, in ’59 and ’60. Sam was pilot and I was mate. He was not a great pilot, but he was a brave fellow. He didn’t know what fear was. He never smiled, but was joking whenever he got a good chance...

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“Fitch Recalls Mark Twain in Bonanza Times” (1919)

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pp. 14-15

Mark Twain did not enlist in the Confederate service, as was erroneously stated in a biography of him. At the outbreak of the war he joined a home guard company which was raised in Hannibal, Mo., and became its Captain. This company was, as a part of the State militia, subject to the orders of the Governor of Missouri...

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From As I Remember Them (1913)

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pp. 16-19

The first i ever heard of him in Nevada was after the territory was organized. James W. Nye of New York1 (the famous Nye) was appointed governor and Orion Clemens, a brother of Mark Twain, was appointed secretary of the territory. . . . With Nye, when he came from New York, came a young man named Robert Howland.2 He was one of those...

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“Jos. Goodman’s Memories of Humorist’s Early Days” (1910)

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pp. 20-21

Joseph T. Goodman of 1415 Benton street, Alameda, fifty years ago editor and part proprietor of the Territorial Enterprise, published at Virginia City, Nev., and in those pioneer times the biggest daily newspaper between Chicago and San Francisco, was Samuel L. Clemens’s first journalistic “boss.” The credit...

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“In the Heroic Days” (1893)

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pp. 22-24

An unknown nobody of a miner over at Aurora sent in items occasionally. He had humor in him, and Goodman off ered him a salary to come over and assist Dan De Quille as a reporter. He came. It was Clemens—Mark Twain. Than Goodman and Clemens no men could be more unlike outwardly...

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“Salad Days of Mark Twain” (1893)

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pp. 25-37

The comstock was young when I first met Mark Twain in the editorial rooms of the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City. We were both young then, and the world seemed young and teeming to overflowing with wealth. The whole country was booming, and the Enterprise was booming equally with all else...

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From Archibald Henderson, Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 38-39

Mark Twain was fond of manufacturing items of the horrible style, but on one occasion he overdid this business, and the disease worked its own cure. He wrote an account of a terrible murder, supposed to have occurred at “Dutch Nick’s,” a station on the Carson River, where Empire City now stands...

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“Memories of Mark Twain” (1915)

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pp. 40-41

Herewith are set down some hitherto unpublished incidents culled from the recollections of Mr. W. W. Barnes, of Oakland, concerning Samuel L. Clemens while the great humorist was “Roughing It” in Virginia City, Nevada. . . . Barnes met Clemens in Virginia City, Nevada, during the later years of the Civil War. Barnes was then working on...

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“Fitch Recalls Mark Twain in Bonanza Times” (1919)

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pp. 42-43

Mark Twain, in an article published in the North American Review, told the story of his attempt at a duel with James L. Laird, who was then a one third owner in the Virginia City Union. Mark yielded reluctantly to “the custom of the Comstock” in those days...

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From Western Carpetbagger: The Extraordinary Memoirs of “Senator” Tom Fitch (1978)

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pp. 44-46

Mark Twain was as humorous in his private correspondence and private speech as in his published writings. He gave a friend a strong endorsement as an eloquent lecturer and accompanied it with a note saying, “Now try and not put the audience to sleep, and don’t be the heedless cause of my first lie.” A letter from his mother...

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“Mark Twain as He Was Known during His Stay on the Pacific Slope” (1887)

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pp. 47-49

About 1864 Mr. Clemens came to San Francisco. It cannot be said he made many friends in Nevada. There were some who affected his company on account of his writings, but he had not the faculty of winning friendship. Before he arrived in the city he had accumulated . . . a good deal of money, every stiver of which he sunk in...

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From Memories of Mark Twain and Steve Gillis (1924)

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pp. 50-51

The nearest approach to any work that Mark Twain ever did at mining was when he became my partner at one time for about two weeks. One day when on my way home from Sonora I took a short cut across a parcel of land from which the surface dirt had been washed by the placer miners some years before. While...

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“A Morning with Bret Harte” (1894)

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pp. 52-53

George Barnes, a well-known journalist and an intimate friend of mine, walked into my office one morning with a young man whose appearance was unmistakably interesting. His head was striking. He had the curly hair, the aquiline nose, and even the aquiline eye—an eye so eagle-like that a second lid would not have surprised me...

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“Mark Twain as He Was Known during His Stay on the Pacific Slope” (1887)

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pp. 54

One of his fortunate moves during his Pacific experience was the trip he made to Hawaii soon after leaving the Call. He had a very firm friend in James Anthony, one of the proprietors of the Sacramento Union, now merged into the Record-Union. When Mr. Clemens mentioned to that gentleman his desire to visit the isles of tranquil delights means were at once furnished him...

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“Mark Twain Incognito—A Reminiscence” (1926)

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pp. 55-58

Mark Twain came bearing an introduction to my father in the name of Samuel Clemens. (We did not know it was Mark Twain until afterwards.) The letter was addressed, Judge S. L. Austin, Onomea Plantation, Hilo, Hawaii, Sandwich Islands. . . . Late one Friday afternoon we were sitting on the veranda laughing and talking when we spied two horsemen coming up the hill around the corner of the boiling house...

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“Mark Twain as He Was Known during His Stay on the Pacific Slope” (1887)

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pp. 59-62

Fate favored him in another way while he was on the island of Oahu. The celebrated clipper ship Hornet, commanded by Captain Mitchell of Freeport, Me., and owned by Grinnell, Minturn & Co. of New York, was burned in the Pacific equatorial belt; and while Mr. Clemens was making love to the wahinas and doing...

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“Fitch Recalls Mark Twain in Bonanza Times” (1919)

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pp. 63

Even as he became locally famous as a humorous writer he distrusted his ability to entertain an audience as a speaker. In 1865 [sic] he was my guest for a week at my home in Washoe City, Nev., and while there he delivered his lecture on “The Sandwich Islands.” I procured for him the use of the courtroom and I acted as doorkeeper...

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“Mark Twain as a Lecturer” (1867)

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pp. 64-66

About a year and a half ago, a communication entitled “Joe [sic] Smiley and his Jumping Frog,” with the hitherto unknown signature of “Mark Twain,” appeared in the Saturday Press of this city. The name, though new, was not remarkable, but the style of the letter was so singularly fresh, original, and full of character...

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“Mark Twain in California” (1898)

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pp. 67-68

When, in 1867, the proprietors of the Alta California, a daily newspaper of which I was then the managing editor, came to me with a proposition that the office should advance to Clemens the sum needed to pay his expenses on a trip into the Mediterranean, on condition that he should write letters to the paper, I was not surprised that they should regard the scheme with grave doubt of its paying them for their outlay...

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“The Cruise of the Quaker City” (1892)

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pp. 69-70

“Captain Duncan desires me to say that passengers for the Quaker City must be on board tomorrow before the tide goes out. What the tide has to do with us or we with the tide is more than I know, but that is what the captain says.” This was the introductory speech with which Mark Twain made his first bow...

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“About Mark Twain” (1877)

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pp. 71-72

An audience of three hundred and odd people paid 25 cents apiece last evening for admission to the Tompkins Avenue Congregational Church in Brooklyn to hear from the lips of the Quaker City’s captain an accurate account of that ship’s eventful trip to the Holy Land ten years ago, which accurate account the Captain, with some scorn, declares Innocents Abroad in no sense to be. . . .

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From Reminiscences of Senator William M. Stewart of Nevada (1908)

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pp. 73-76

About the winter of 1867, I think, while my family was in Paris, I lived in a rather tumbledown building which at that time stood on the northwest corner of Fourteenth and F Streets, N.W., opposite the old Ebbitt House, where many of my Congressional cronies had quarters. The house was a weather-beaten old place, a relic of early Washington. . . .

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“Mark Twain in California” (1898)

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pp. 77-78

During the summer of that year, while Clemens was in the Eastern States, there came to us a statement, through the medium of the Associated Press, that he was preparing for publication his letters which had been printed in the Alta California. The proprietors of that newspaper were wroth. They regarded the letters as their private property...

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“Mark Twain” (1910)

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pp. 79

My association with Mark Twain for about a year, during the period of his connection with the Express, when I worked in editorial fellowship with him, face to face across the table that we shared, gave me a close acquaintance which I count among the greater privileges of my life. . . . When Mark was writing he indulged himself in a frank enjoyment of his own humor that was interesting to see...

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From My Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 80-81

It was in the little offi ce of James T. Fields, over the bookstore of Ticknor & Fields, at 124 Tremont Street, Boston, that I fi rst met my friend of now forty-four years, Samuel L. Clemens. Mr. Fields was then the editor of the Atlantic Monthly, and I was his proud and glad assistant, with a pretty free hand as to manuscripts...

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“Mark Twain in London” (1872)

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pp. 82-86

You may observe in the papers which will reach you from this side at the same time with this letter accounts of a lunar rainbow of extraordinary splendor and surpassing hues which has just occurred here. You may wonder what was the occasion of such an illumination in London. The thing will be explained when I announce that it occurred on the same evening in which Mark Twain was entertained by the Savage Club. . . .

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From Autobiography (1904)

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pp. 87-88

His reputation was wide in England, but it appeared singular that instead of appearing, like Artemus Ward and other American entertainers, at Egyptian Hall or some popular place, he should select the most fashionable hall in London, and charge high prices for admission. The hall was crowded with fashionable people in evening dress, of whom few if any had ever seen Mark...

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“In Old Bohemia” (1908)

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pp. 89-91

When i was with Mark Twain in London . . . Mark found the London fog indigestible and six lectures a week at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, Hanover Square, a burden. . . . About three o’clock of each afternoon—barring Sunday, which was a day of rest—Mark would begin to dread the approach of eight when he had to face a stolid British audience sitting up to its neck in the fog that had followed it into the hall. . . .

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“Mark Twain—An Intimate Portrait” (1910)

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pp. 92-94

Although Mark Twain and I called each other “cousin” and claimed to be blood-relatives, the connection between us was by marriage: a great uncle of his married a great aunt of mine; his mother was named after and reared by this great aunt; and the children of the marriage were, of course, his cousins and mine; and a large, varied and picturesque assortment they were...

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From Crowding Memories (1920)

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pp. 95-98

Looking backward through the mist and dimness of the receding past, how happy are the memories of our first visit to Hartford! . . . The invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Clemens for this visit included Mr. Howells and Mr. Osgood. The little party of four who met that bright day at the station were fortunate in possessing the best life gives...

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From Memories of a Hostess: A Chronicle of Eminent Friendships (1922)

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pp. 99-104

Thursday, April 27, 1876.—We lunched, and at 3 p.m. were en route for Hartford. I slept and read Mr. Tom Appleton’s journal on the Nile,1 and looked out at the sunset and the torches of spring in the hollows, each in turn, doing more sleeping than either of them, I fear, because I seem, for some unexplained reason, to be tired, as Mrs. [Sophia] Hawthorne used to say, far into the future...

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From My Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 105-111

The visits to Hartford which had begun with this affluence continued without actual increase of riches for me, but now I went alone, and in Warner’s European and Egyptian absences I formed the habit of going to Clemens. By this time he was in his new house, where he used to give me a royal chamber on the ground floor...

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From Celebrities at Home (1879)

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pp. 112-115

Among those American authors who, because they have had the courage to cut loose from the apron-strings of England, have achieved the greatest success both at home and abroad, Mark Twain is, in point of popularity, facile princes. Those who only know him as the author of The Innocents Abroad and Roughing It are apt to imagine he is a kind of frontier joker...

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From The Changing Years (1930)

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pp. 116-117

Although my acquaintance with Mark Twain, starting when I was eighteen, had much of the pleasantness of long-continued friendship, what it means in the plan of this book, with its emphasis on the search for intellectual truth, is that the humorist offered me, more than any other person I have known, the spectacle of sheer genius...

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From My Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 118-122

When Messrs. Houghton & Mifflin became owners of the Atlantic Monthly, Mr. Houghton fancied having some breakfasts and dinners, which should bring the publisher and the editor face to face with the contributors, who were bidden from far and near. Of course, the subtle fiend of advertising, who has now grown so unblushing bold, lurked under the covers at these banquets...

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From Contemporary Portraits, Fourth Series (1923)

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pp. 123-126

I wonder why it is that I cannot force myself to like Mark Twain? I have never even told of my meetings with him, but I intend to do it now. I remember when his Gilded Age came out, and soon afterwards his Innocents Abroad [sic]. I had hoped great things from him when I read the Gilded Age, with its exposure of the corruption in the Kansas legislature.1 A few years later I met him...

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“Mark Twain at ‘Nook Farm’ (Hartford) and Elmira” (1885)

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pp. 127-130

Off the platform and out of his books Mark Twain is Samuel L. Clemens—a man who will be fifty years old at his next birthday, November 30, 1885. He is of a very noticeable personal appearance, with his slender figure, his finely shaped head, his thick, curling, very gray hair, his heavy arched eyebrows, over dark gray eyes, and his sharply, but delicately cut features...

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From My Father Mark Twain (1931)

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pp. 131-132

The major part of Father’s work was accomplished in the summer, which we spent with my mother’s sister, Mrs. Theodore Crane. She lived on the top of a long hill overlooking Elmira, New York. The place was called Quarry Farm, and was a heavenly spot. On a sunny day one could see the Chemung River sparkling far below as it wound its way through the town of Elmira...

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From Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1910)

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pp. 133

It has been said he was given to swearing. I believe he was and that as a young man the habit had quite a hold on him. And yet I can remember hearing him swear only once, and that after I was grown up, which shows he was careful when the children were about. And what I did hear was entirely different from the heavy, guttural, vulgar thing we call profanity...

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From I Remember (1934)

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pp. 134-136

One of the features of the cotton exposition was Mark Twain. I saw people turn away from the Chinese giant, eight feet high, to gaze upon a humorous philosopher who said that he was, though never tall, always short along toward the fi rst of the month. I heard that he was to board the Kate Adams to steam around the bends and over the wide washes of his pilot recollections...

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“Illustrating Huck Finn” (1930)

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pp. 137-140

While contributing to Life I made a small picture of a little boy being stung by a bee.1 Mark Twain had completed the manuscript of Huckleberry Finn and had set up a relative, Charles L. Webster, in the publishing business. Casting about for an illustrator, Mark Twain happened to see this picture...

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From My Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 141-142

There came a time when the lecturing which had been the joy of his prime became his loathing, loathing unutterable, and when he renounced it with indescribable violence. Yet he was always hankering for those fleshpots whose savor lingered on his palate and filled his nostrils after his withdrawal from the platform...

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“Mark Twain on the Lecture Platform” (1900)

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pp. 143-144

In December Twain and Cable appeared in Cleveland. They arrived one afternoon and registered at the Forest City House. I called to pay my respects. Was Mr. Clemens in? Yes, but he had just eaten dinner, it then being 3 o’clock, and had gone to bed, not to be disturbed until 7 o’clock, excepting in case Mr. John Hay...

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From Arlin Turner, Mark Twain and George W. Cable: The Record of a Literary Friendship (1960)

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pp. 145-147

It is because of that hold he has on all our hearts—and I speak for the whole American people—it was that spirit that caused an audience once in Paris, Kentucky, who had applauded him until their palms were sore and until their feet were tired, and who had laughed as he came forward for the fourth alternation of our reading together—the one side of him dragging, one foot limping after the other...

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From Papa: An Intimate Biography of Mark Twain (1985)

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pp. 148-149

Mamma and i have both been very much troubled of late because papa, since he has been publishing Gen. Grant’s book, has seemed to forget his own books and work entirely, and the other evening as papa and I were promonading up and down the library he told me that he didn’t expect to write but one more book, and then he was ready to give up work altogether...

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From Recollections of a Varied Life (1910)

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pp. 150-151

I presided, many years ago, at a banquet given by the Authors Club to Mr. William Dean Howells. Nothing was prearranged. There was no schedule of toasts in my hand, no list of speakers primed to respond to them. With so brilliant a company to draw upon I had no fear as to the result of calling up the man I wanted without warning...

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From My Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 152-153

One of the highest satisfactions of Clemens’s often supremely satisfactory life was his relation to Grant. It was his proud joy to tell how he found Grant about to sign a contract for his book on certainly very good terms, and said to him that he would himself publish the book and give him a percentage three times as large. . . . The prosperity of this venture was the beginning of Clemens’s adversity...

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From Opinions of a Cheerful Yankee (1926)

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pp. 154-156

I went to see him one day at his home in Hartford. He was in a room upstairs. A billiard table was in the middle of it. I thought him one of the saddest-looking men I had ever met. Of course it was a serious matter to have a brave reporter break into the china shop of his meditations. He sat with his feet on a window sill and smoking a cob-pipe, looking out thoughtfully at the snow-covered landscape...

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“Memories of Mark Twain” (1920)

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pp. 157-162

in 1882, Laurence Hutton and Lawrence Barrett, Frank Millet and E. A. Abbey, W. M. Laff an and I organized an intermittent and sporadic dining club, which we called The Kinsmen, because we intended to gather in the practitioners of the kindred arts, and which had no officers, no dues, and no rules, except that an invitation to one of our meetings was to be accepted as an election to membership...

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From Hardly a Man Is Now Alive (1939)

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pp. 163-168

Mr. Fred Hall,1 Mark Twain’s partner in the publishing business, came to my studio in the old Judge Building and told me that Mark Twain wanted to meet the man who had made the illustrations for a Chinese story in the Cosmopolitan2 and he wanted that man to illustrate his new book...

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From Daniel Frohman Presents: An Autobiography (1935)

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pp. 169-170

I knew Mark Twain very well. He was a great friend of the theatre and often spoke at theatrical gatherings. He always had something interesting to say in his felicitous and dramatic manner. His prescription for happiness has always appealed to me: “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience. This is the ideal life.” The most intimate experience I ever had with him was when I produced one of his plays...

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From I Remember (1934)

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pp. 171-175

One day he picked up the morning paper and saw that Jim Corbett, who had just won the championship of the United States in New Orleans from John L. Sullivan,1 was to give an exhibition bout with him in Madison Square Garden. He asked me if I thought I could get tickets? “Easily,” I said, and I forthwith secured front seats by the ring...

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From Hardly a Man Is Now Alive (1939)

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pp. 176-177

When Mark Twain sent the manuscript of Tom Sawyer Abroad to St. Nicholas, there was a part of it which the editor thought might be improved, and the wording was consequently changed. Mark Twain was a gentle soul, but if Theodore Roosevelt stood for civic righteousness, Mark Twain stood for the unalienable rights of the author to his own statements...

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From Memories of a Southern Woman of Letters (1932)

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pp. 178-182

Mr. Clemens was waiting for us at the station in Florence, grumbling at the delay of the train “always late, except when you counted upon it to be late.” His house, the Villa Viviani, lay on the road to Settignano, beyond the walls of Florence. The road was long and the evening dark...

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“Mark Twain in Clubland” (1910)

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pp. 183-188

For several months “Mark,” as his intimates were allowed to call him, lived at The Players in one of the two best rooms which had been occupied at the opening of the club by Edwin Booth and Lawrence Barrett, and I, then the managing editor of the North American Review, went there one morning to ask him whether he would write an article for us on the origin...

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From Eccentricities of Genius(1900)

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pp. 189-201

Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) I consider one of the greatest geniuses of our time, and as great a philosopher as humorist. I think I know him better than he is known to most men—wide as his circle of acquaintances is, big as is his reputation. He is as great a man as he is a genius, too...

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“Mark Twain on the Platform” (1896)

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pp. 202-204

Unfortunately, perhaps, for himself, but decidedly fortunately for the people who have the pleasure of listening to him, Mark Twain has been dragged out of his American study by pecuniary losses to the footlights of the lecture-platform and the admiring gaze of his multitudinous readers. It is quite twenty years since the author...

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From A Woman’s Part in a Revolution (1897)

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pp. 205-206

Mark Twain came to the Rand. He visited the men at Pretoria. My husband did the honors of the prison, and introduced him to the Reformers. He talked a long while to them, sitting on a dry goods box. Expressed his satisfaction at finding only one journalist in the crowd, and no surprise that the lawyers were largely represented...

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From Autobiography (1935)

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pp. 207-209

“The star of the stars and stripes,” as the Johannesburg Times called Mark Twain, was on a round-the-world lecture tour, and took advantage of an engagement in nearby Johannesburg to pay a social call on the American prisoners. I had great hopes for the effects of this afternoon on our spirits as I was familiar with Mark Twain’s genial personality and witty conversation...

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From Seventy Summers (1925)

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pp. 210-212

Mark Twain arrived in Johannesburg whilst I was the guest of my Jew friend Goerz1 and his winsome Viennese bonne à tout faire [literally, “maid of all work”]. Goerz was mad to make Mr. Clemens’s acquaintance, and gladly placed at my disposal his victoria and pair for afternoon drives. . . .

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“Mark Twain as a Newspaper Reporter” (1910)

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pp. 213-221

In 1897 i was the European representative of an important New York newspaper, and it occurred to me that it would be legitimate journalistic enterprise to engage Mark Twain, who was then living in London, to report the Diamond Jubilee procession that was to be the feature of the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign...

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“Some Reminiscences of Mark Twain” (1929)

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pp. 222-224

in the winter of 1898, when a medical student at St. Thomas’s hospital, London, I chanced to read in the London Evening Globe that Mark Twain was residing in London in straitened circumstances. A letter was forthwith dispatched by me to him, care of Chatto and Windus, his London publishers, in which I introduced myself as another of the Clemens tribe and asked...

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From Roadside Meetings (1931)

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pp. 225-228

I learned that Mark Twain had returned to London, and I hastened to write him. “There are several points in the Life of General Grant upon which I would like to have your comment.” He replied at once, inviting me to call upon him at his hotel...

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From My Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 229-232

In the brief letter I got from him in the Western city, after half a dozen wakeful nights, he sardonically congratulated me on having gone into “the lecture field,” and then he said: “I know where you are now. You are in hell.” 1 It was this perdition which he re-entered when he undertook that round-the-world lecturing tour for the payment of the debts...

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From A Lifetime with Mark Twain: The Memories of Katy Leary (1925)

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pp. 233-236

It was about this time [November 1900] that I had trouble with a cabman. I’d been up to Hartford to get some things, and when I got back into the Grand Central Station, I didn’t know enough to take a cab inside (they used to have cabs on the inside then); I went outside and called the first cab I seen. I didn’t have no baggage...

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From A Roving Commission (1930)

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pp. 237

My opening lecture in New York was under the auspices of no less a personage than “Mark Twain” himself. I was thrilled by this famous companion of my youth. He was now very old and snow-white, and combined with a noble air a most delightful style of conversation. Of course we argued about the war...

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From Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie (1920)

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pp. 238-240

None of my friends hailed my retirement from business more warmly than Mark Twain. I received from him the following note, at a time when the newspapers were talking much about my wealth...

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From Roses and Buckshot (1946)

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pp. 241-242

When Dr. [William Wallace] Walker said that the Lotos Club would give me a life membership for my portrait of Twain, it was in the bag. Willie had to do some tall talking to get Twain to pose for a portrait, but in spite of the old gent’s saying he would “rather have smallpox than sit for his picture” he finally consented...

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From My Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 243-245

He had begun . . . to amass those evidences against mankind which eventuated with him in his theory of what he called “the damned human race.” This was not an expression of piety, but of the kind contempt to which he was driven by our follies and iniquities as he had observed them in himself as well as in others. It was as mild a misanthropy, probably, as ever caressed the objects of its malediction...

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From One Afternoon with Mark Twain (1939)

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pp. 246-250

It was in the late summer or early autumn of 1902, as nearly as I can fix the date, when Dr. Clarence C. Rice, a long-time friend and traveling-companion of Mark Twain’s, came to me at my hotel in New York City and invited me to accompany him on a pilgrimage to the One and Only...

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From Companions on the Trail: A Literary Chronicle (1931)

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pp. 251-252

Late in february 1903, Clemens, who had taken a house in Riverdale, invited my wife and me to dinner, an invitation which we instantly and joyously accepted, for we had never seen him in his home. We reached the Riverdale station about seven of a rainy night, and as the only conveyance in sight was a musty hack, we took it...

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“Mark Twain: Personal Impressions” (1910)

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pp. 253-254

At a dinner celebrating his birthday, though not on the exact date—only men being present, and all of them his personal friends—after having recounted in his most humorous vein many vivid and laughter-provoking early experiences of his in the West, he spoke of his approaching departure to Italy with his wife...

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From The Changing Years (1930)

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pp. 255-256

Before his wife died there occurred an incident that brought into relief the kindly side that was always a large part of the man. My father and mother were crossing the ocean on the same ship as Mr. Clemens and his wife. Mrs. Clemens was in poor health, and her husband had requested my father not to talk with her when she was in her chair on deck...

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“Mark Twain from an Italian Point of View” (1904)

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pp. 257-259

He is a passionate lover of Italy, in which for years a number of American authors and artists have pitched their tents. Florence is the city especially affected by the Americans and English, who flock there in great numbers every year. The most important personage in this group is Mark Twain, as the villa of his selection is the most sumptuous of them all...

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“Mark Twain on Friends and Fighters” (1906)

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pp. 260-262

At the recent dinner given by Colonel Harvey in honor of the seventieth birthday of Mark Twain, the orator of the evening was, of course, the honored guest, and he was in his happiest vein of humor, philosophy, and pathos. His humor made us howl, his philosophy made us think, and his pathos made us cry...

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From Hardly a Man Is Now Alive (1939)

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pp. 263-265

When i was editor of Recreation, I heard that Mark Twain was ill. He then lived near Washington Square, and I immediately went down to see him. When the butler opening the door of the old-fashioned mansion I asked to see Mr. Clemens but was told very bluntly that Mr. Clemens was receiving...

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“Innocents at Home” (1925)

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pp. 266-272

Like most boys of my time I was brought up in the company of Mark Twain. . . . That I should ever meet him, or even see him, never occurred to me. I would as soon have expected to meet Hercules. I was, in fact, well along in the middle years when I first saw him...

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From My Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 273-274

He came one Sunday afternoon to have me call with him on Maxim Gorky, who was staying at a hotel a few streets above mine. We were both interested in Gorky, Clemens rather more as a revolutionist and I as a realist, though I too wished the Russian Tsar ill, and the novelist well in his mission to the Russian sympathizers in this republic...

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From Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 275-276

“it has been a very serious and a very difficult matter,” Mr. Clemens once said to me, “to doff the mask of humor with which the public is accustomed, in thought, to see me adorned. It is the incorrigible practice of the public, in this or in any country, to see only humor in the humorist, however serious his vein. Not long ago I wrote a poem...

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From Uncle Joe Cannon (1927)

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pp. 277-279

When i have read the books of Mark Twain and laughed over some of his characters there has been a dim recollection of something close akin to them I have known in real life. Tom Sawyer is the most natural boy I ever met between the covers of a book, and Colonel Mulberry Sellers is a daily visitor to the national capital...

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“Mark Twain’s Exclusive Publisher Tells What the Humorist Is Paid” (1907)

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pp. 280-281

Who is the best paid writer in the United States? George Harvey, publisher of books and editor of magazines, ought to know. The foremost authors of the day are on his payroll. “Mark Twain,” he instantly replied when I asked the question...

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“Letters to the Editor” (1944)

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pp. 282

On one of the visits to London made by my biographer, Archibald Henderson, I met him at the railway station, and found that Mark had come over in the same boat and was in the same train. There was a hasty introduction amid the scramble for luggage which our queer English way of handling passengers’ baggage involves; and after a word or two I tactfully took myself and Henderson off ...

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“Mark Twain, Some Personal Reminiscences” (1938)

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pp. 283-284

The University of Oxford wrote to him and offered him an Honorary Degree, and he was tickled to death. He was more pleased and proud of that than of anything of the kind that had ever happened to him, particularly because no American University had ever thought of it.1 . . .

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“E. V. Lucas and Twain at a ‘Punch Dinner’ ” (1910)

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pp. 285-286

I met Mark Twain only once. It was on his last visit to London, when he was present at the special Punch dinner given in his honor. Under any conditions, there could not have been a more appreciative or interesting guest; but, as it happened, a pretty little incident at the very outset of the evening touched a chord of tenderness that enabled those of us who were present...

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“A Little Girl’s Mark Twain” (1935)

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pp. 287-292

A little girl walked round and round the deck of an ocean liner. On the starboard side she fairly flew along, but when she turned the corner and came to the port side of the vessel, she walked slowly and her feet dragged, her eyes lost in admiration of a man who stood at the rail, talking to another man...

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From Mark Twain and the Happy Island (1914)

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pp. 293-295

Once in a while it rained on the Happy Island, and when it did, it did it thoroughly. The water came down in sheets and torrents, sweeping in from the sea, across the harbor, blotting out the islands and filling the air indoors with moisture. At such times it was impossible to brave the weather,..

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“Mark Twain Lands an Angel Fish” (1967)

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pp. 296-298

On our way home from Bermuda my new companion and I became inseparable. He and his dear friend, Mr. H. H. Rogers, and I spent a good deal of time huddled under rugs in our deck chairs, but Mr. Clemens and I also used to walk the decks. . . . On the day of the storm we were walking around the deck, arm in arm...

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“Mark Twain at Stormfield” (1909)

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pp. 299-304

It was the late afternoon of a June day that Mark Twain first saw his new home at Redding—a day such as those who were responsible for that home had hoped for, and would have prayed for, perhaps—if they had had time. For there had been a great getting ready...

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From Hardly a Man Is Now Alive (1939)

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pp. 305-307

I spent the day that Mr. Clemens was to arrive painting a chicken coop. My neighbor, Harry Lounsbury,1 came over to the house to ask me to help him set off some fireworks. I replied, “Harry, I will do this for you and Mark Twain, but the last time I set off fireworks was in 1884, and it was six months before I could work again.” So we climbed...

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“Mark Twain” (1929)

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pp. 308-317

One of the most memorable events of my life was my visit to Mark Twain. My memory of Mr. Clemens runs back to 1894, when he was still vigorous, before the shadows began to gather. Such was the affection he inspired in my young heart that my love for him has deepened with the years...

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“Mark Twain as His Secretary at Stormfield Remembers Him” (1925)

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pp. 318-325

All the way up the hill to Stormfield it seemed as if the rustling of meadow grass, the roar of the waterfall down in the hollow, the twittering of the birds and the shrilling of the locusts were drowned out by the persistent beating of her much perturbed heart. The butler1 opened the front door and directed her to go to the study...

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From My Mark Twain (1910)

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pp. 326-327

My visit at Stormfield came to an end with tender relucting on his part and on mine. Every morning before I dressed I heard him sounding my name through the house for the fun of it and I know for the fondness; and if I looked out of my door, there he was in his long nightgown swaying up and down the corridor, and wagging his great white head like a boy that leaves...

Works Cited

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pp. 329-335


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pp. 337-348

E-ISBN-13: 9781587299513
E-ISBN-10: 1587299518
Print-ISBN-13: 9781587299148
Print-ISBN-10: 1587299143

Page Count: 383
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: pb