American Literature

Dear Mark Twain: Letters from His Readers (Jumping Frogs: Undiscovered, Rediscovered, and Celebrated Writings of Mark Twain)

By R. Kent Rasmussen

A voracious pack-rat, Mark Twain hoarded his readers' letters as did few of his contemporaries. Dear Mark Twain collects two hundred of those letters written by means of a various cross-section of correspondents from round the world—children, farmers, schoolteachers, businessmen, preachers, railroad clerks, inmates of psychological associations, con artists, or even a former president. it's a designated and groundbreaking book—the first released selection of reader letters to any author of Mark Twain's time. Its contents come up with the money for a unprecedented and exhilarating glimpse into the sensibilities of nineteenth-century humans whereas revealing the impression Samuel L. Clemens had on his readers. Clemens’s personal and sometimes startling reviews and replies also are included.

R. Kent Rasmussen’s huge study presents interesting profiles of the correspondents, whose own tales are usually as fascinating as their letters. starting from gushing fan appreciations and requests for support and recommendation to feedback for writing initiatives and stinging criticisms, the letters are jam-packed with perceptive insights, pathos, and accidental yet usually riotous humor. Many are deeply relocating, various are hilarious, a few should be stunning, yet none are dull.

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Spofford, Robert J. Burdette, Mary J Holmes, and others. And for those who also will kindly provide my request, I will be really thankful. truly, Lillian Leslie Johnson. Th is relatively trivial question is uncommon, however it is feasible that Clemens discarded different such letters. the author, Lillian Leslie Johnson (born c. 1872), later released occasional journal articles. In 1898, she wrote to an advertisements magazine a couple of cookbook she deliberate to submit and distribute at no cost (Printer’s Ink, sixteen Mar. 1898, 43). by means of then, she used to be married to George Reddington Tower (c. 1861–1938), who was once within the paper undefined, and was once publishing as Lillian Leslie Tower (USCR). The Mrs. Harrison whom Johnson mentions used to be most likely U. S. president Benjamin Harrison’s spouse. Harriet P. Spofford and Mary J. Holmes have been novelists, and Robert J. Burdette was once a midwestern journalist (see letter 54). 166 1891–1900 114 Blackwater, Mo. Feb 6/92 To Sam’l L. Clemens, Esq. Bridgeport, Conn expensive Sir:—I am analyzing your tale “The American Claimant” because it runs during the “St Louis Republic. ” on your final bankruptcy you herald by the way a brand new character—one Nat Brady. Now the nature as defined makes me imagine probably you had my past due father in brain (James W. Brady) Can or not it's? —or wont you inform me who “Nat Brady” in his timidity and melancholly—in his cowed air—is drawn from. i don't desire to bore you yet my very own disposition is so morbid, so melancholly—and probably so hopelessly and helplessly so, that during my introspection reports Ive puzzled if it weren't inherited and if my father was once now not approximately one of these boy as you’ve pictured in “Nat Brady”—for the sort of one definitely am I. Wont you do me the kindness to answer! My father died in July, ’89—of aortic aneurism. i've got your marriage ceremony playing cards and a attribute letter (relics of “Aunt Betsy Smith” of Hannibal) My sister has your autograph in her collection—and I your photograph in mine. Trusting you are going to pardon the freedom I signal myself really yours Andrew F. Brady Exr (J. W. B. died) the yank Claimant was once serialized in numerous newspapers, together with the St. Louis Republican, throughout the fi rst 3 months of 1892. Brady wrote this letter after attaining bankruptcy 12, which brought Nat Brady, a vulnerable, unemployed tinner who's often bullied in a boarding condo. A Hannibal, Missouri, resident into the 1870s, Andrew F. Brady used to be born round 1863—a decade after Clemens left town. He desired to recognize if the melancholic fictional Nat used to be modeled on his father simply because he himself used to be melancholic. in spite of the fact that, whilst he extra that his father used to be not like Nat, he appeared to contradict the cause of his query. His father, James W. Brady (c. 1825–1889), used to be certainly one of twelve little ones of James Brady Sr. (1801–1881), who settled in Hannibal in 1836, many years earlier than Clemens’s relations arrived. In 1845, the senior Brady grew to become the town’s first mayor. As a boy, Clemens used to be a detailed buddy of James W. ’s a lot more youthful brother, Norval “Gull” Brady. James W. himself turned a miller and left Hannibal ahead of 1880 (J.

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