Vol 1 Section 0031

Lot to Build – Nook Farm Respectability – Gilded Age Collaboration

Self-Pasting Scrapbook – Family Sails to England – The Shah – Tichborne Trial

Stratford & Scotland & Dr. John Brown & Ireland – Bank Crisis

Escorts Family Home & Solo Return to England – London Lectures

1873 – Gribben sites Tom Hood’s Comic Annual for 1873 as running Sam’s “How I Escaped Being Killed in a Duel[707].

George Dolby (d. 1900) wrote to Sam sometime during the year, exact date unknown. Goodspeed’s at MTP gives: “Dickens’ Manager on his American Tour. Amusing letter to Mark Twain about the theft of a duck which they were to have had for dinner” [MTP].

January By this month, Roughing It had earned Sam about $20,600 in royalties [MTL 5: 271n7]. Sam understood that writing brought in more money than lecturing, though it’s clear that both activities energized and pleased him.

January 1 Wednesday – Two bills paid to Drs. Taft & Starr for professional services for the same period, July 1 ‘72 to Jan. 1 ’73, for $7 and $46. Bill for $3 paid to Wm. Wander, Steinway & sons’ Celebrated Pianos, for timing and repair of piano. Bill paid to Mansury & Smith, carriage manufacturer for $23.15 in repairs [MTP].

January 2 Thursday – Handwritten receipt signed John Hooker $300 for house rent for quarter ending Jan. 1 [MTP].

January 3 Friday – In Hartford, Sam telegraphed a response to Whitelaw Reid’s letter of Dec. 28, asking him to “write something, no matter what, over your own signature within the next week,”: “Will write the article today.” The untimely death of Horace Greeley had thrown the Tribune into chaos, and politics over ownership evolved into Reid buying controlling interest (with the help of Jay Gould). Reid announced he would make the newspaper what Greeley would have made it—“a frank and fearless paper.” Reid had also solicited articles from Charles Dudley Warner, Bret Harte, and probably others [MTL 5: 263].

Sam followed up the telegram with a short letter with opinion about the Sandwich Islands and ambitions in the U.S. to annex them as a result of the death of King Kamehameha V. Sam’s letter ran in the Tribune on Jan. 6 [264].

January 4 Saturday – Bill paid to H.A. Botsford for four bales of straw, etc., $15.68 [MTP].

January 5 Sunday, beforeWilliam Dean Howells visited Sam and took a “frightful cold,” as mentioned in a letter from Howells to Charles Dudley Warner [MTHL 1: 12].

January 6 Monday Sam sent another telegram from Hartford to Whitelaw Reid: “Have mailed second & concluding paper” [MTL 5: 266].

Sam’s letter dated Jan. 3, about the Sandwich Islands, “Death of King Kamehameha” ran in the New York Tribune [MTL 5: 264n1].

Joseph L. Blamire for Routledge & Sons wrote to Sam: “Herewith a memorandum of actual disbursements in the matter of the Steam Engine, Stereoscope, &c. wh were dispatched this afternoon…to S. Moffett…. Anxiety to get them in free of Duties &c.” [MTP].

January 7 Tuesday – Sam’s letter to the editor of the Hartford Courant ran on page one:

SIR: When you do me the honor to suggest that I write an article about the Sandwich Islands, just now when the death of the king has turned something of the public attention in that direction, you unkennel a man whose modesty would have kept him in hiding otherwise. I could fill you full of statistics, but most human beings like gossip better, and… [Courant.com].

Frank Bliss wrote to Sam: “Friend Clemens / …a check for $500 is waiting for you…” Quite illegible, this short note [MTP]

Vernon Seaman wrote:

“My dear ‘Mark Twain.’— / I am just in receipt of another letter from Mrs. Wakeman.—Doubtless she has also written to you.—Your letter to the ‘Alta’, had the effect I anticipated, of starting the ball, & the good people of California took the matter up, & very soon subscribed the requisite amount.—of course the good old Captain & his family, are overflowing with gratitude,—& in this connection, I must thank you too, for your cheerful compliance with my sugestion [MTP]. Note: Sam wrote on the env. “About Wakeman”

January 8 Wednesday – Bill paid to Isaac Glazier & Co. of New York for three watercolors by “Miss Whiting.”(possibly Lilian Whiting of Boston) Also frames, misc., totaling $36.60 [MTP].

Sam may have made a trip to New York on Jan. 7 or 8, and stayed for a banquet on Jan. 11 (see entry), where he received the engraved humidor from Charles Tiffany (1812-1902). Note: Charles was the father of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Light Snow fell on NYC for only 0.15 accumulation; no other precipitation fell through Jan. 11 [NOAA.gov].

January 9 Thursday – Sam’s letters to Whitelaw Reid on the Hawaiian question were published in the New York Tribune [MTL 5: 266].

We must annex those people. We can afflict them with our wise & beneficent government. We can introduce the novelty of thieves, all the way up from street-car pickpockets to municipal robbers & Government defaulters, & show them how amusing it is to arrest them & try them & then turn them loose—some for cash & some for “political influence.” We can make them ashamed of their simple & primitive justice.…We can give them juries composed entirely of the most simple & charming leatherheads. We can give them railway corporations who will buy their Legislatures like old clothes, & run over their best citizens & complain of the corpses for smearing their unpleasant juices on the track. In place of harmless & vaporing Harris, we can give them Tweed…we can furnish them some Jay Goulds who will do away with their old-time notion that stealing is not respectable…We can give them lecturers! I will go myself [MTL 5: 572-3].

Bill paid to James G. Wells & Co. for groceries and glassware, etc. purchased Sept., 12, Oct. 10, 15, Nov. 8, Dec. 14, 19; Bill paid to Hatch & Tyler for 1872 deliveries of coal, Aug. 31, Oct. 7, 23, 25—total $246.00 [MTP].

January 10 Friday – Sam’s article arguing for annexation of the Sandwich Islands ran on the front page of the Hartford Courant.

January 11 Saturday – A humidor with this date engraved was purported given to Sam at a banquet, most likely in New York. The humidor is said to have been presented to Mark Twain at a banquet on January 11, 1873. The presenter was his good friend Charles Tiffany. Charles Tiffany and his son Louis Comfort Tiffany supplied many of the decorations for the Hartford home. A description: “This burled walnut humidor and silver humidor has four sections with beveled lids and the engraved monogram ‘MT January 11 1873’. The flip-lidded burl humidor retains the original key and is stamped Tiffany and Co. Union Square” [Item # 250105137406 offered on eBay April 15, 2007]. A search of the New York Times for dates before and after this event came up empty. Sam’s purchase on Jan. 8 from Isaac Glazier & Co. would suggest he was in New York City from Jan. 7 or 8 through Jan. 11.

Whitelaw Reid wrote to Sam.

My Dear Twain: / The letters were admirable, the second especially, I think, is as good as anything you have ever done.

Is the enclosed cheque fair?

And wont you do something more for us when you see a chance? It wont hurt you a bit to freshen up people’s recollection of you as a newspaper writer. If you only knew enough of Cuba and Santo Domingo to give us similar pictures! But pray seize upon some fresh topic, and write again.

With many thanks,

Very truly yours, / Whitelaw Reid [MTPO].

January 12 Sunday Sam wrote from Hartford to Ira F. Hart, secretary for the Elmira YMCA. Sam declined to lecture in Elmira or Towanda [MTL 5: 267]. He was determined to finish The Gilded Age before leaving for England in May. Sam also wrote to John M. Hay of the New York Tribune, telling of the tempting offers he’d had to lecture in New York. Sam also relayed Bliss’ agreement to send a book of “Roughing It” to the Tribune for their review [MTL 5: 268].

A bill was paid to George Curtis, Hartford druggist for ale, $6 [MTP].

January 13 and 17 Friday Sam wrote again from Hartford to Whitelaw Reid, acknowledging receipt of $100 for his two letters on the Sandwich Islands. Sam wrote about buying a lot in Hartford, but then crossed out the passage. On Jan. 17 Sam added:

“…it appears I’ve got to lecture, after all—At least I am wavering & am almost ready to give in—but I’ll have to talk only a mighty few times if I talk at all. On ‘Sandwich Islands’—& you must not report me like Fields—you’d desolate my richest property” [MTL 5: 270].

January 14 Tuesday Sam wrote a revision insert about missionary work in his Sandwich Islands letters to Whitelaw Reid, which were to be reprinted in the Tribune the following day.

January 15 WednesdayWhitelaw Reid responded that the insert was received 24 hours too late, even for the extra sheet, but that he’d have a new plate made for what he might print later [MTL 5: 272n1].

January 16 Thursday – Sam paid $10,000 for a 544’ x 320’ lot in Hartford deeded this day [MTL 5: 271, 277]. Andrews states it was “later enlarged by a second purchase…for $20,000” total [81].

For three days the area was covered with ice; Livy wrote about it in her Jan. 19 diary entry.

James Redpath & George L. Fall wrote to Sam advising that Thomas B. Pugh of Phila. “offers 400$ for a lecture in his course and gives you these dates to select from”…etc. He asked for a telegram reply [MTP].

January 17 Friday Sam wrote from Hartford to his old friend Will Bowen, commiserating about the loss of a child [MTL 5: 273]. Sam also wrote to James Redpath, declining to lecture in Philadelphia, but saying he might talk the “Sandwich Islands” lecture in New York and Brooklyn for the Mercantile Library [MTL 5: 274].

January 19 Sunday – From Livy’s diary:

“Mr. Chamberlin let us have the low land for less than $9 a foot—but in measuring the land there proved to be more of the bank than Mr. C. thought, so that by taking a hundred and thirteen (I believe) of the table land seventy five did not bring us to the flat land, so Mr. C. sold us the rest of the bank for $50 a front foot [Salsbury 13]. Note: Franklin Chamberlin.

In the same entry, Livy wrote about Sam pulling her on a stool affixed to a sled over to the Charles Perkins home.

Mrs. N.G. Wakeman for Edgar M. Wakeman wrote to Sam, enclosing letter from Vernon Seaman, and expressing her thanks and enclosing a clipping from the Dec. 28, 1872 S.F. Chronicle, “Captain Wakeman’s Decks Cleared” etc., having raised $4,750 for Wakeman’s support [MTP].

January 20 Monday Sam wrote from Hartford to Thomas B. Pugh of Phila., owner of the “Star Course of Lectures and Concerts,” touting the idea of establishing a lecture circuit entirely on the Eastern seaboard in big cities with only big-name speakers [MTL 5: 275].

January 21 TuesdayJohn E. Mouland wrote from Boston to reply to Clemens’ Dec. 3, 1875 invite.

My very Dear Friend / I Recd your kind note in L’pool, & had determined to take advantage of it this trip, but now at the last moment I find it impossible—today customs business, tomorrow shift my ship under the — grain elevator, & Friday customs clearance again & I sail from the wharf at 6 am Saturday on up of tide—so Thursday would be the only time & it is 6 hours from here to Hartford & 6 backem space I am miserably disapointed for I anticipated a pleasant visit, & hoped to prolong my acquaintance with you but I promise you, I will be with you the very first opportunity—& I hope when you return to Europe you will give me a chance of doing the hospitalities of the ship for you & your Lady— What a reputation you have given me—you have made me quite famousem spaceI got a gold medal & vote of thanks from the Humane society & my crew & officers a silver medal & thanks besides a money reward of 7£ to each man & Injun pay to the officers— I hope soon to be able to show you the medalem space Again regretting not to be able to take advantage of your kind offer & hoping you are in good health, I Remain with Sincere thanks & Regards Yours /Faithfully / John E Mouland

Sam. L Clemens Esq /please reply if possible / [MTP]. Note: Mouland was on the S.S. Batavia.

January 22 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Captain John E. Mouland about the awards the captain and crew received for the rescue at sea on Sam’s trip home. Again he invited Mouland to visit Hartford on his next trip, and wrote about the lot he purchased and his plans to have a house built there while he was in England [MTL 5: 277].

Sam also wrote to his sister Pamela:

“Ma & Annie have just come—7 PM. They have been steadily on the road, 31 hours, & are rather tired…” [MTL 5: 279].

M. Nott delivered and certified a load of wood had a certain amount of feet [MTP].

January 24 Friday Sam wrote from Hartford to James Redpath about his somewhat revised Sandwich Islands lecture he was to give twice in New York and once in Brooklyn and Jersey City. Sam decided to end the lecture on a serious note, rather than a joke. The serious note was a summary of Hawaii as a:

“…Sunday land. The land of indolence and dreams, where the air is drowsy and things tend to repose and peace, and to the emancipation from labor, and turmoil, and weariness, and anxiety of life” [MTL 5: 280-1&n1].

January 25 Saturday Sam wrote from Hartford to Whitelaw Reid, enclosing a manuscript printed in the Tribune on Jan. 27 as “British Benevolence,” about the gold medal awarded to John E. Mouland for the rescue on the Batavia [MTL 5: 282].

January 26 SundayWhitelaw Reid wrote to Sam on Lotos Club stationery.

My Dear Twain: /Wont you come to New York next Saturday, and “be dined” as the guest of the Lotos? The members of the Club will give you a hearty welcome, and I will see that your dinner is not wholly indigestible. You will have to endure the solemnity of my society during the dinner, but at its close you can find some relief. / Very truly Yours, / Whitelaw Reid [MTPO]. Note: Sam telegraphed reply on Feb. 1

January 27 Monday Sam’s article on John E. Mouland’s award, “British Benevolence,” was published in the New York Tribune [MTL 5: 282n2].

January 27 and 28 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Michael Laird Simons (1843-1880), who was compiling a new edition of the Cyclopaedia of American Literature, which came out in 1875. Sam suggested portraits of himself published in Aldine and elsewhere. Charles Dudley Warner prepared the biographical information. Sam wished to be presented in “two lights”—humorous, but with a “good background of gravity & of earnestness” [MTL 5: 283].

January 28 Tuesday Sam wrote a public plea for charity to the Hartford Evening Post. The letter was an advertisement for his lecture to be given on Jan. 31 in Allyn Hall for the benefit of “Father” David Hawley (1809-1876), who worked tirelessly for the Hartford poor [MTL 5: 287]. The Hartford Courant and the Hartford Times both reprinted the letter on Jan. 29. In his Nov. 21, 1906 A.D., Clemens described Hawley and his place in Hartford hearts:

A Mr. Hawley was the city missionary—a man with a big generous heart, a charitable heart; a man whose pity went spontaneously out to all that suffer, and who labored in behalf of the poor, the forsaken, the forlorn, and the helpless, with an eager and tireless zeal not matchable among men….He was not a clergyman, nor an officer in any church; he was merely a plain, ordinary Christian; but he was so beloved—not to say worshipped—by all ranks and conditions of his fellow-citizens that he was called “Father” by common consent. It was a title of affection, and also of esteem and admiration; and his character and conduct conferred a new grace and dignity upon that appellation [MTA 2: 281].

Vernon Seaman wrote to Sam on the Jan. 19 letter from Mrs. Minnie L. Wakeman-Curtis.

Dear “Mark Twain.” / The enclosed, or rather this sheet, has just reached me, from Mrs. Wakeman, which she requests me to forward to you, as she does not know your address. — Pour souls, they have had more than their share of troubles, & you have the proud satisfaction of knowing that you have done much to alleviate them. —…Yours Very Truly… [MTP]. Note: Wakeman’s daughter sent her and her father’s gratitude.

January 29 Wednesday – In a letter to the Hartford Courant aimed at raising funds for Father Hawley’s efforts, and dated Jan. 28, Sam wrote that charity is:

…a dignified and respectworthy thing, and there is small merit about it and less grace when it don’t cost anything. We would like to have a thousand dollars in the house; we point to the snow and the thermometer; we call Hartford by name, and we are not much afraid but that she will step to the front and answer for herself…. I am thoroughly and cheerfully willing to lecture here for such an object, though I would have serious objections to talking in my own town for the benefit of my own pocket—we freebooters of the platform consider it more graceful to fly the black flag in strange waters and prey upon remote and friendless communities [MTL 5: 289].

January 30 Thursday Sam wrote to the staff of the New York Tribune asking for copies of his British liberality letter, published on Jan. 27, about the award of the gold medal to Captain John E. Mouland [MTL 5: 291].

A load of hay was delivered by Paul Thompson [MTP].

January 31 Friday – Sam donated his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at the Benefit for Father Hawley, Allyn Hall in Hartford. All services were donated; the benefit netted $1,500 for “Father” David Hawley in his charity work for the poor [Lorch 137]. Note: See Jan. 28 entry. Clemens gave one other lecture to benefit Hawley’s work, on Mar. 5, 1875. See entry.

February 1 Saturday – Sam telegraphed from Hartford to Whitelaw Reid, who was a member of the Lotos Club in N.Y. where Sam had agreed to speak. “Andrews and I will go to the club without first going to the hotel.” The dinner was in Reid’s honor. That evening, Sam gave a speech.

“I make it a rule of life never to miss any chances, especially on occasions like these, where the opportunity for converting the heathen is luxuriously promising” [MTL 5: 292].

A bill was paid to Case & Rathbun, shirt mfrs & cigars wholesale, for $11 for Jan. purchases [MTP].

February 2 Sunday Sam wrote from the St. Nicholas Hotel in New York to Livy on their third wedding anniversary.

I am keeping the great anniversary in the solitude of the hotel; & not boisterously, for last night’s whirlwind of excitement has swept all the spirit out of me & I am as dull & lifeless as if I had just waked out of a long, stupefying sleep.

I find that the Tribune review of Roughing It was written by the profound old stick who has done all the Tribune reviews for the last 90 years [George Ripley (1802-1880), instead of Sam’s request for John Hay]. The idea of setting such an oyster as that to prating about Humor! This is “journalism.” They would think me absurd if I were to suggest that they hire Josh Billings to write a critique on the Illiad, but it does not occur to them that he is as thoroughly competent to do it as this old Tribune fool to criticise a book of humor.… It would be just as consistent to hire a clerk to keep their books, write their editorials, cook their food & do their washing. No man has an appreciation so various that his judgment is good upon all varieties of literary work. If they were to set me to review Mrs. Browning, it would be like asking you to deliver judgment upon the merits of a box of cigars…[MTL 5: 293].

Sam and Livy had a running joke about Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry, which Livy enjoyed and Sam called “marvelous ravings” [MTL 5: 294n5].

Two-tenths of an inch of snow fell in New York City [NOAA.gov].

February 3 MondayGeorge Routledge & Sons, London was paid for duties on books shipped (bill in MTP).

 In Hartford, M. Nott delivered and certified a load of wood had a certain amount of feet [MTP].

February 4 TuesdayNearly an inch of rain fell in NYC [NOAA.gov].

February 5 Wednesday Sam gave his revised “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Steinway Hall, New York City [Schmidt].

A load of hay was delivered by Paul Thompson for a fee of 5 cents [MTP].

February 6 Thursday – The Brooklyn Eagle ran an unsigned, teasing announcement on page 3 of Sam’s lecture for the following night. It has that Mark Twain ring to it.


      Mark Twain will lecture on the Sandwich Islands at the Academy on Friday night. His lecture is not to be commended at all. It is painful in its treatment of facts. He has compelled the belief that he is an historical fraud, or that the encyclopedias must all be re-written. This wretched being actually displays no accountability to truth as misunderstood by the Historical Society. He thinks that a ton of fun and not the least scruple of fact is a mixture he can serve up with impunity and dispatch. As to the Sandwich Islands, he was there six months six years ago, and while there suffered incarceration for debt in a live volcano. The painful results are now set at large for an hour’s talk which has compelled him when delivered to leave one place for some other place, then to deliver it as soon as possible. We have no confidence in Mark Twain. He makes people laugh so much that they are precluded from thoughtful attention to the grave themes that might be but are not put into his lecture.

February 7 Friday – Sam gave his revised “Sandwich Islands” lecture at the Academy, Brooklyn, New York [Schmidt].

Bill dated Jan. 4 paid to H.A. Botsford & Co., Hartford dealers in bailed hay and straw, for $15.68 [MTP].

Nearly half an inch of rain & snow fell on NYC [NOAA.gov].

Whitelaw Reid wrote to Sam referring him to a man in Baltimore; the subject matter is too obscured to make out [MTP].

Thomas B. Pugh wrote from Phila. advising Sam of the offer from another lecture bureau for half receipts for a lecture there. Since Sam had declined Pugh, he felt sure the reasons still applied for declining this new offer [MTP]. Note: The man needed a new quill.

February 8 Saturday Sam returned briefly to Hartford [MTL 5: 295].

February 10 Monday – Sam was listed among the arrivals at the St. Nicholas Hotel in New York. He may have viewed dress rehearsals of Augustin Daly’s play of Roughing It, which ran from Feb. 18 to Mar. 15 [The Twainian, July-Aug 1946 p2].

In the evening, Sam gave his revised “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Steinway Hall, New York City [Schmidt].

February 11 Tuesday Sam returned briefly to Hartford [MTL 5: 295].

February 12 WednesdayAn inch of snow fell on NYC [NOAA.gov].

February 13 Thursday – Sam gave his revised “Sandwich Islands” lecture in The Tabernacle, Jersey City, New Jersey [MTL 5: 295]. The four February lectures were successful; reviews highly complementary.

In Hartford, M. Nott delivered and certified a load of wood had a certain amount of feet [MTP].

Charles Inslee Pardee sent a card for the Lotos Club informing Sam he’d been elected a member [MTP].

February 14 Friday Sam probably returned to Hartford after his last lecture. Sometime during his New York stays he met up with John McComb, the part owner and editor of the Alta California most responsible for getting Sam the assignment for the Quaker City excursion [MTL 5: 296].

February 15 Saturday – Sam wrote from Hartford to James Hammond Trumbull, accepting membership in and an invitation to attend the Hartford Monday Evening Club on Feb. 17. According to Sam, Trumbull, a learned and educated man, “could swear in twenty-seven languages” [MTL 5: 297]. Members of the Club included Joseph R. Hawley, and Rev. Nathaniel J. Burton (1824-1887). The group was formed in 1869, as an elite, twenty-man discussion group. Members presented papers on issues of the day. They were allowed to invite one non-Hartford resident as a guest. [MTL 5: 56; Kaplan 146; Monday Evening Club, privately printed (1954)].

February 17 MondayLivy and Sam wrote from Hartford to Livy’s mother, Olivia Lewis Langdon of family matters [MTL 5: 298].

Sam attended a meeting of the Hartford Monday Evening Club, where he heard Congregationalist minister Nathaniel J. Burton read an essay entitled “Individualism” [MTL 5: 297n2].

February 18 Tuesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Whitelaw Reid, asking him to put a short notice in the Tribune that Sam wouldn’t be lecturing any more that season. Sam claimed it was the Tribune’s fault that he had twenty invitations to lecture in New York City alone [MTL 5: 299-300].

Augustin Daly “borrowed” some of Sam’s ideas and a play called “Roughing It” opened at the Grand Opera House in New York. Very little was taken from the book [MTL 6: 206-7n1]. This may be why Sam didn’t raise hell. And, since the play closed after a run of only four weeks (last performance was Mar. 15, 1873), he may simply have wanted to disassociate from it [Walker, Phillip 185; The Twainian July-Aug 1946 p1-2]. Sam remained on cordial terms with Daly. In 1877 Daly would stage Sam and Bret Harte’s Ah Sin play.

February 20 ThursdayM. Nott delivered and certified a load of wood had a certain amount of feet [MTP].

February 24 Monday – Bill was paid to Arnold, Constable & Co. of New York, $256.54, for silk, Florentine, cashmere, bands and handiwork [MTP].

February 25 Tuesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Elisha Bliss and asked him to “stir Frank up—he is getting 3 or 4 weeks behindhand with his statement [for royalties].” Sam also mentioned some man in New York wanted to print 100 of the Jumping Frog stories “merely for distribution among friends” [MTL 5: 300-1].

February 26 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Elisha Bliss clarifying statement dates and commenting on a book of sketches requested by Bliss and his current work in progress, The Gilded Age. This book was a true collaboration between Sam and Livy, and Charles and Susan Warner. The women would comment and kibitz on the work as it progressed. The collaboration with Warner helped Sam overcome his worries about writing a book-length work of fiction.

“Can get sketches ready any time, but shall wait awhile, as I have good hopes of finishing a book which I am working like a dog on—a book which ought to outsell the sketches, & doubtless will. It will make a pretty lively sensation I bet you” [MTL 5: 301].

February 28 Friday Sam again wrote from Hartford to Bliss about his “infatuation” with writing The Gilded Age and his intent to have the book published simultaneously in England and America. Living there for a time would solve the legal question of the English residency requirement for copyright [MTL 5: 302].

February, end Captain John E. Mouland of the Batavia came to visit Sam. It was his first visit after several invitations [MTL 5: 279n6].

March Sometime during the month, Sam wrote from Hartford to Louisa I. Conrad, a neighbor in St. Louis in 1867. Sam’s letter is a humorous “RECIPE FOR MAKING A SCRAPBOOK” [MTL 5: 303].

Sam also wrote, possibly this month, to Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw), who had asked Sam to contribute to his column in the New York Weekly. Sam wrote a humorous decline, which he knew would be published; and it was, on July 14 [MTL 5: 304-6 & 306n1]. Note: The Twainian of Feb. 1944 gives this as the July 14, 1873 issue of the Weekly, and explains that since Sam was under contract to American Publishing Co., for all sketches, he supplied an article in the form of a letter to Billings [1]. Previously in error as July 28.

As of Mar. 1, 1873, a total of 77,654 copies of Roughing It and 103,907 of Innocents Abroad had been sold [MTL 5: 310n6].

March 1 Saturday – A receipt with this date from the Asylum Congregational Society for $155. The document is a form letter for rent of slip no. 167 [number written in] for one year from date [MTP]. Notes: Annual pew fees were a common way for churches to raise revenue. It was a similar purchase of $25 by Orion that would raise Sam’s ire in two years (see July 26, 1875 entry).

McNary & Co., chemists and druggists, Hartford were paid $16 for South Side Madeira, Sherry and Claret [MTP].

March 3 Monday Sam wrote from Hartford to Willard M. White (1843-1923) who had asked for help in promoting the invention of a mosquito net frame that attached to a bed.

There is nothing that a just & right feeling man rejoices in more than to see a mosquito imposed on & put down, & brow-beaten & aggravated,—& this ingenious contrivance will do it. And it is a rare thing to worry a fly with, too. A fly will stand off & curse this invention till language utterly fails him. I have seen them do it hundreds of times…We shall see the summer day come when we shall all sit under our nets in church & slumber peacefully, while the discomfited flies club together & take it out of the minister [MTL 5: 307].

               Text Box: March 4, 1869 – Ulysses S. Grant was sworn in for a second term as 
President of the United States



March 4 Tuesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Elisha Bliss. Sam wanted Nast to illustrate the next book, The Gilded Age. He asked Bliss’ advice on the matter and a suggested price to offer Nast. Sam also wanted to buy more stock in the American Publishing Co., but never did. He was a director in the company, however, until 1881 [MTL 5: 308-9].

March 7 Friday Sam, in Hartford, telegraphed and also wrote a short note with enclosure to Whitelaw Reid of the New York Tribune. Sam wrote about the convicted murderer William Foster and then changed his mind and asked Reid to “tear this stuff up” [MTL 5: 310-11]. Still, the article was published in the Tribune on Mar. 10. Sam sent a one-line note to the staff of the Tribune, asking them to “send 2 Credit Mobilier Extra Sheets.” Sam was interested in the scandal and probably thought he might use it in writing The Gilded Age [MTL 5: 314].

March 8 SaturdayBudd gives this date for the first printing of Sam’s, “Poor Little Stephen GirardIn Alta California [Collected 1014]. California Digital Newspaper Collection online, however, shows as Mar. 11. [http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cdnc]. Note: previously in error as 1872. Sometimes reprinted as, “Life As I Find It.”

March 10 Monday –Sam wrote from Hartford to Tom Hood and George Routledge & Sons in London. Sam wrote about the Jubilee Singers, who were about to appear in London. He had heard the singers once, probably on Jan. 28, 1872 when they came to Twichell’s church. He would hear them twice more in his next visit to England.

“I was reared in the South, & my father owned slaves, & I do not know when anything has moved me as did the plaintive melodies of the Jubilee Singers” [MTL 5: 315].

Sam’s letter dated Mar. 7, “Foster’s Case,” was published in the New York Tribune.

“I have read the Foster petitions in Thursday’s Tribune. The lawyers’ opinions do not disturb me, because I know that those same gentlemen could make as able an argument in favor of Judas Iscariot, which is a great deal for me to say, for I never can think of Judas Iscariot without losing my temper” [Fatout, MT Speaks 75].

March 11 Tuesday – Bill paid to Geo. W. Ford 395 Main St. Hartford; for 12 fire extinguishers charged $12 [MTP].

March 18 Tuesday – Bill and receipt for $3 to Hawley & Goodrich & Co. for lost pocketbook [MTP].

March 19 WednesdaySusy Clemens’ first birthday.

March 20 Thursday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Will Bowen, who had sent Sam an article about polar currents from Silas Bent, an oceanographer and formal naval officer. Sam thanked Will, and also explained his wife would not let him lecture anywhere.

“We sail for England May 17 & return in October—meantime we hope the most aggravating part of the house will be built & off our minds” [MTL 5: 320].

A bill paid to L. Daniels for $10.70 for goods (illegible) [MTP].

March 21 Friday – Sam paid $3 to Hawley, Goodrich & Co. for special notebooks of his design [MTP].

March 22 Saturday Sam purchased a small wedge of land along the eastern side of their lot and 40 feet on the south for $1,000, which increased his frontage on Farmington Avenue by twenty feet [MTL 5: 271n6; Salsbury 17].

Sam wrote from Hartford, declining an invitation to lecture from his former partner on the Buffalo Express, Josephus Larned, chairman of the Young Men’s Association Lecture Course [MTL 5: 320].

March 24 Monday – Bill for glass paid to Chas. Wright & Co., Hartford, $21.43 [MTP].

March 26 Wednesday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Elisha Bliss, vowing to finish The Gilded Age before leaving for England in May. Sam enclosed a letter from William Gouverneur Morris (1832-1884), who had approached Sam about publishing a book.

“See enclosed letter. Old California acquaintance. They never die, & they all write books on California geology, geography, & Indianology & enlarge upon everything except the main chief product of that country which is Damphoology. And they all run to me to find a publisher for them” [MTL 5: 322].

D. Nicholson wrote to Sam: “Dear Sir / Enclosed please find cheque for $15. for your letter on the Foster case / Respectfully” [MTP]. Note: see Mar. 10 entry.

March 28 Friday Sam wrote from Hartford to Will Bowen, sending Routledge’s London address for Will to write [MTL 5: 323].

Clemens also wrote to Whitelaw Reid of the New York Tribune, thanking him for a token check received on his article about the Foster case (“British Benevolence”). Sam disclosed his plans to stay in England four months, and to take a copy of his new book there to publish simultaneously in both countries.

“Some people think I have no head for business, but it is a lie….I have a nice putrid anecdote that Hay will like. Am preserving it in alcohol—in my person” [MTL 5: 324].

March 29 Saturday Sam’s article “Making a Fortune,” appeared in the Jackson, California Amador Dispatch. As the “Moralist of the Main, Sam could make his points about an issue by standing the moral order on its head. This was a funny sketch about a bank watchman robbing a bank of a million dollars, then refusing offers to return half and living on as an honored and respected man and a lesson that “even the poor may rise to affluence and respectability” [Fatout, MT Speaks 78].

March 30 Sunday Sam wrote from Hartford to the editor of the Hartford Courant, a fictitious tale about a family drowning in construction mud on Forest Avenue.

“There was a heavy sea on by this time, of mud & water mixed, & every third colossal poultice of it that rolled along made a clean breach over the wagon & left the occupants looking like the original Adam before the clay dried” [MTL 5: 325-8].

March 31 Monday – Sam read his first essay for the Hartford Monday Evening Club entitled “License of the Press” [Budd, “Collected” 1014]. Sam said, “The touchy Charles Reade can sue English newspapers and get verdicts; he would soon change his tactics here” [Gribben 572].

Sam’s article, “A Horrible Tale – Fearful Calamity in Forest Street” ran in the Hartford Courant [Camfield, bibliog.].

Frank Soulé wrote from San Francisco to thank Sam for his offer to “take charge of my poetic manuscripts. I did not intend, however…to burthen you with the arrangement and supervision which you so generously offer” [MTP].


AprilVol. 1, No.1 , p.6-7 of The Globe, a literary magazine in Buffalo, N.Y. published by E.L. Cornwell, ran an article just short of two pages, “Mark Twain as a Buffalo Editor” that was rather critical of Sam’s time in that city, some three years before. 

Mr. Clemens, as an Editor of the Express, ever maintained the most rigid views of the power and importance of the Press and was scrupulous of its purity and dignity. He seldom put a word into an article without first knowing and meaning just what that word expressed. And the readers were also certain of getting his honest convictions most plainly worded. In his spicy saluatory which appeared in the Express on the morning of the 21st of August, 1869, was the following, which when divested of its careless jesting, indicates as clearly as possible Mark Twain’s journalistic platform. We quote: [Here the Globe inserted Sam’s “Saluatory” from the date given—see entry for an excerpt.]

      The first two months of Mr. Clemens editorial career in Buffalo were indeed busy ones. From eight o’clock in the morning until ten, eleven and sometimes twelve o’clock at night he sat at his desk poring over exchanges, penning witty paragraphs, exchanging frequent remarks with his associate and writing brief editorials. This was in the summer, be it remembered, and the humorist editor was a picture and a study in himself. Coatless, sometimes vestless, he lolled in his chair with one shoeless foot on the table and the other in the wastebasket. His collar, cuffs and tie were strewn on the floor with the papers, and his hat lay just where it happened to fall when brushed off the back of his head. But he was a worker, and doubtless at the present time the subscribers of the Express bear in delightful remembrance the fresh, agreeable editorial paragraphs that bore, so unmistakably, the stamp of Twain’s matchless sarcasm and humor.

      No man detested loafers more than Mr. Clemens, and assuredly no man could be more pitiless in his treatment of bores. He was vigorous in his denunciation of that class of people who aimlessly and impudently intrude their constant presence in the editorial room. One incident will, perhaps, bear relating, showing how he once rebuked a party of undesired visitors. Arriving at his office one evening about half past eight he found it full of men—all strangers to him. They had apparently taken full possession of the room. Some were smoking and some had their feet upon the table and every chair in the room was occupied. With a look of disgust Mr. Clemens hesitated for a moment in the doorway and then in his peculiar drawling way, said:

      “Is this the editorial room of the Express?”

      “Yes sir!” promptly chorused the assemblage.

      “H—m! Is it customary for the editors to sit down?” questioned the humorist.

      “Yes,” “certainly,” “to be sure,” were the replies returned by the puzzled smokers. “Why do you ask?” said one of them.

      “Because,” slowly enunciated Mr. Clemens, “I am one of the editors of the Express, and it occurred to me that I ought to have a seat!!”

      In an instant every chair was vacated and the men, somewhat abashed, attempted to laugh the matter off by saying “Ah! Mr. Clemens, that was neat,” “witty as ever.” Etc., etc., but there was something in the joker’s eye that quickly told them he was in no joking frame of mind at that moment. After that, loungers were rather shy of Mark Twain [eBay item 200338937023 purchased on May 11, 2009; not in Tenney].

Note: this obscure source should be compared with the account of the same event by Express reporter Earl D. Berry in McCullough’s Mark Twain at the Buffalo Express, p. xx. In Berry’s account this all took place on the day Sam first arrived for work, or Aug. 15, 1869. See also Reigstadt’s recent work, Scribblin’ For a Livin’ 30-31.


April 2 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Charles F. Wingate (1848-1909), correspondent for the Boston Globe and the Springfield Republican. Sam responded to Wingate’s question as to Sam’s availability, probably for an interview, and Sam told him his plans were uncertain when he’d be in New York, but he would stay at the St. Nicholas Hotel and suggested Wingate “glance at the hotel arrivals in the Tribune” [MTL 5: 328].

Whitelaw Reid wrote to Sam, “sorry about the Cunard business” being “overlooked.” He added “the Cunarders are furiously hostile to The Tribune on account of some criticisms…which Smalley once engaged in. After the appearance of your letter it seems that one of our advertising agents went down, and asked them for the advertisement….They had the coolness to reply…that they were not grateful to the Tribune…if there were any obligation in the matter it was due entirely to Mark Twain” [MTP].

April 5-15? Tuesday William C. Cornwell (1851-1932) sent an unsigned article and asked Sam to respond. Cornwell was a banker temporarily turned journalist. Sam answered from Hartford:

“I perceive that the writer has discovered my besetting weakness, which is unreflecting & rather ungraceful irritability. It isn’t a pleasant trait. I have some pleasant ones, but modesty compels me to hide them from the world, so no one gets the benefit of them but myself” [MTL 5: 329].

April 6 Sunday – In Virginia City, Joe Goodman wrote to Sam:

I returned from San Francisco yesterday, where we have been making a seven-weeks stay. It was pleasant enough at first but got monotonous toward the end. Bill Lent sued me for libel about the Diamond Swindle, but when he found out that I was going to rake up his pious actions from time immemorial he concluded to back down. Old John McComb returned from the East during my sojourn, and he devoted one entire afternoon to recounting his intercourse with you in New York. What infinite appreciation and recollection he has! I don’t believe you said a single good thing but what he repeated literally—and then his eyes would sparkle and he would laugh in that unctious way of his till he would shake the building like a mastodon turbulent with merriment.

Denis McCarthy is boss reporter on the Chronicle, a position in which he is acquitting himself with decent credit [MTP]. Note: Joe was angling for the Japan mission but felt “the President had fixed his eye on Bingham.”

April 711 Friday Captain Mouland of the Batavia visited Sam sometime between these dates. It was his second visit [MTL 5: 279n6]. In a letter of Apr. 26 to Colton Greene, a passenger on the Batavia during the rescue at sea, Sam described Mouland’s visit:

“The ‘old man’ has been down again & spent two days with me—he came fortified—brought 6 bottles of Scotch whiskey—& all he drank while here was two glasses” [MTL 5: 356].

April 9 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Whitelaw Reid of the New York Tribune. He enclosed a letter about the necessity of securing sufficient life rafts on ships instead of lifeboats. Sam’s “crusade” on the subject was sparked by the loss of 481 passengers and crew when the Atlantic sank on the coast of Nova Scotia on Apr. 1, 1873 [MTL 5: 335-9].

Sam also wrote to Alexander & Mason, patent solicitors, Washington D.C., letter not extant but referred to in A&M’s reply of Apr. 12.

April 11 Friday – Sam’s letter dated Apr. 8 “Life-Rafts. How the Atlantic’s Passengers Might Have Been Saved” ran in the New York Tribune [Camfield, bibliog.].


Reginald Cholmondeley wrote from Havana, Cuba. “Dear Mark / I have been making a yacht trip along the S American coast & West Indies & purpose being at Philadelphia about the end of this month & …New York for Liverpool the 1st week of May & shall be very happy to see you & Susie & Mrs Clemens & her maid, if you still think of coming to England” [MTP].

April 12 SaturdayAlexander & Mason, patent solicitors wrote to Sam: “Your models and favor of 9th instant have been received. We believe a patent can be obtained for the improvement having carefully examined the Patent Office, found nothing like it” [MTP]. Note: Sam’s patent application for the “Improvement in Scrap-Books” was filed on May 7.

April 14 Monday – Mary Mason Fairbanks wrote from Cleveland this day or Apr. 13.

My dear Hartford children— / Why do I hear nothing from you? So often of late have my thoughts turned questioningly towards you only to come back unanswered, that I am constrained to send this little messenger out of my ark, in search of you.

      Of course the breezes of rumor give me unreliable items of “Mark Twain” here & “Mark Twain”—but what is that, when I am wondering how you are—how Livy is—how Susie is—what your hopes are—what your fears, if any—the nameless yearnings we have a right to feel for those we love.

      My own season is peaceful. Mr. Fairbanks and I have passed a quiet but a happy winter, looking hopefully to a summer reunion—when the vacations send our children home. Do you still hold to the plan of going abroad in May? How very much I wish you could spend the summer with us. We would domicile you in the little cottage at the gate where you might receive us or shut us out. I suppose however you would scorn such plebian hospitality now.

      Pray give me hope that sometime you’ll come down from the heights of Plantagenet dinners to drink a glass of milk with us.

      Love & kisses for Livy and the wee Susie who is now a young lady of something more than twelve-months. / Faithfully Yours / Mother Fairbanks [MTL 5: 340].

April 15 Tuesday Sam signed a description to be filed with a patent application for his “Mark Twain’s Self-Pasting Scrapbook[MTL 5: 145n4].

April 16 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Mary Mason Fairbanks, who, in her letter of Apr. 14, scolded Sam for not writing. Sam explained his working “6 days a week—good full days” on the new book, The Gilded Age. This letter established Livy & Susan Warner’s contribution to the collaboration:

Every night for many weeks, Livy & Susie Warner have collected in my study to hear Warner & me read our day’s work; & they have done a power of criticizing, but have always been anxious to be on hand at the reading & find out what has been happening to the dramatis personae since the previous ending. They both pleaded so long & vigorously for Warner’s heroine, that yesterday Warner agreed to spare her life & let her marry—he meant to kill her. I killed my heroine as dead as a mackerel yesterday (but Livy don’t know it yet). Warner may or may not kill her to-day (this is in the “boss” chapter.)…I have an itching desire to get back to my chapter & shake up my heroine’s remains [MTL 5: 339-41].

April 17 Thursday Sam wrote from Hartford to David G. Croly (1829-1889), editor of the New York Daily Graphic. Sam included a list of telegraph headings to show how “dull” things had become, leading him to “get the fidgets” and want to travel. He included news of his collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner. The letter was published in the Graphic on Apr. 22 [MTL 5: 341-3].

Possibly this day Sam also wrote a note of enthusiasm for the new book to Whitelaw Reid [MTL 5: 344].

A net bill after returns of $6.50 was paid to Strong & Woodruff, “manufacturer of hats, caps and furs of the most Fashionable Styles,” no. 355 Main St., Hartford [MTP].

April 20 Sunday Sam wrote a long “screed” from Hartford to Whitelaw Reid. Sam was upset by the short review in small type that appeared in the Tribune on Apr. 19. Sam argued that the release of The Gilded Age was truly to be “the literary event of the year,” and that it demanded larger type and a more prominent place in the paper than a small corner on the editorial page [MTL 5: 346]. Reid responded favorably, probably by telegraph, offering to print another notice [MTL 5: 352n3].

April 21 Monday Sam and Charles Dudley Warner wrote a note and the title page from The Gilded Age with fees for copyright to the Librarian of Congress, Ainsworth R. Spofford (1825-1908) [MTL 5: 350].

Whitelaw Reid wrote two notes to Sam. The first asking him to come to the Lotos Club for the closing dinner of the season on Saturday. The second note advising enclosed check for his “life-raft letter” [MTP].

April 22 Tuesday Sam’s letter dated Apr. 17 to David G. Croly, editor of the New York Daily Graphic ran in that paper [MTL 5: 343n1]. The headings Sam pointed to: “solemn peacefulness” and “general stagnation, the profound lethargy that broods over the land” included:

Wall Street Panicky; Two to Three Hundred Men Roasted Alive!; Incendiarism in a Baptist Flock; A TOWN IN A STATE OF GENERAL RIOT; The Modoc Massacre; A Father Killed by his Son [MTL 5: 342]. Note: (Sam cut the newspaper headlines from page 3 of the Hartford Evening Post for April 16, 1873.)

Sam wrote three times to Whitelaw Reid, who had suggested another notice.

“All right! You go ahead & give us that other notice. Bilious? I was more than bilious—I was scared. When a man starts out in a new role, the public always says he is a fool & won’t succeed. So I wanted to make every knife cut that could help us succeed, anyway.”

Sam firmly believed that if the Tribune said “it right” that “all the other papers will follow suit.” Sam was happy with the new notice, more than likely telegraphed by Reid, along with an invite to the Lotos Club [MTL 5: 351-4].

Bill paid to Sykes & Newton, Hartford chemists & druggists, for ½ dozen crates apple cider $4 [MTP]

April 24 Thursday Livy and baby Susy accompanied Livy’s mother and cousin Hattie Lewis to Elmira. Sam remained in Hartford to finish The Gilded Age [MTL 5: 354]. What valuables did he place in his Hartford bank vault? A receipt in Sam’s financials for the year reads:

“The First National Bank – Received from Mr Saml L Clemens eleven packages for safe keeping. The same being placed in our vault to be delivered upon order of Mr. Clemens. C.S. Gillette”  [MTP] Note: Charles S. Gillette.

April 25 and 26 Saturday Sam wrote from Hartford to Livy in Elmira.

Livy darling, as Warner says “The child is born, & his name is Mary Jane!” Which is to say, that just as Eliza called me to dinner I put the last touch on the chapter where Phil strikes the coal mine—so the book is really done,—all except the tedious work of correcting, dovetailing & revamping. A fearful load went off my mind with the discovery of that coal vein [MTL 5: 354].

Sam dined with Charles Dudley Warner [Letter to Livy, Apr. 26].

April 26 Saturday Sam wrote from Hartford to Colton Greene, a passenger on the Batavia during the rescue at sea. In relating a visit by Captain John E. Mouland earlier that month, Sam wrote:

“We talked a deal about you & your disheartening habit of cursing & swearing at the table while the ladies & the ministers needed quiet & silence wherein to coax their sustenance to go down—& stay.”

Sam told about the digging of the cellar of his new house, and invited Greene to visit [MTL 5: 356].

Sam also wrote to an unidentified man:

“Dear Sir: / I think so but can’t say positively. Shall either be here or in N.Y.—most likely here. Send a telegram here the day before is best perhaps. If it don’t find me here you will know that I am in New York—St Nicholas Hotel. / Yours truly/ Samuel L. Clemens” [eBay item #230501584371, 7/20/2010]. Note: possibly to Charles F. Wingate; see Apr. 2.

Sam also wrote again to Livy about elements of the book. “We both think this is going to be no slouch of a novel, as Solomon said to the Hebrew Children.” Sam also loved cats.

“The kitties are very frisky, now. They & the old cat sleep with me, nights, & have the run of the house. I wouldn’t take thousands of dollars for them. Next to a wife whom I idolize, give me cat—an old cat, with kittens” [MTL 5: 358].

April 27 Sunday – In Hartford, Sam had lunch with Joe Twichell [Letter to Livy, Apr. 26].

April 28 Monday – In Hartford, Sam wrote to his sister, Pamela Moffett, about checks sent, her St. Louis letter received, and sending Orion some English newspapers he wanted. Sam observed about Orion’s late employment to Bliss:

Dear Sister:

Yes we got your St Louis letter—& before this time, no doubt, my banker has collected your $30 check from yours—so if I had gone away & forgotten to tell you, your next bank statement would have shown you that it was all right. I can’t imagine how I could have neglected acknowledging recpt. of the check at once—I usually attend to such things immediately— it is the only sure way, & there is no excuse for [ever] doing otherwise.

Your remarks about Orion are very just. I always recognize his many merits & excellent virtues when he is out of my sight, but he is sure to irritate me & make me see his less pleasant [features] when he is with me.

As to the English papers, he could have had them all—he surely never said he wanted them; or if he did he must have done it shortly after my return, when I was working on the English book & regarded the papers as indispensable.

I will send some to him now. He will grow where he is now, & will succeed, provided he jealously but quietly preserves his dignity, has no familiarities with [subordinates,] never allows the “insolence of the office” to creep into his spirit, & wins the first battle where superiors attempt to infringe upon his territory. “Give a nigger an inch & ”—he never can be made to understand, after that precedent, why he shouldn’t take more inches; hence there never can be an end to it.

Orion became Bliss’s slave, his errand-boy, his door-mat, merely because he did not shut flat down on the first interference. And yet he went there armed with such power that he could have made Bliss his slave. Bliss would have blacked Orion’s boots, rather than have a rupture with me.

But he bided his time, & it came. Orion did a thing which was utterly inexcusable—it was the act of a half-witted child, & I could not [say] a word when he was discharged, not with-standing he did this foolish thing with an honest intent to do me a brotherly service—& came almighty near ruining me.

Livy had a severe attack of diphtheria, & went home weak as a child. She telegraphs that she is resting & getting strong, but I haven’t very good faith in it. However, she will get strong there. The muggins is well they say.

The novel is finished, & we are well satisfied with it. It will take ten days more to lick it thoroughly into shape, & then I leave for Elmira.

The cellar of the house is dug, & the Masons will now go to work. We have many applications from publishers, of course.

Love to all of you.


P.S. Vergennes would be a good place for all of you. That mountain air would make you all wonder how you ever had any bodily vigor in a flat-land.

But Lastine would suit my style, even better still [MTP, drop-in letters].

April 29 Tuesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Captain John E. Mouland, sending Samuel Chalmers Thompson with the letter.

“The bearer is my friend and London helpmeet…He would like to sail with us, May 17 in the ‘Batavia’ & I would exceedingly like it myself. I hope that the ship is not so full but that a shelf can be found for him to dispose himself upon.”

Thompson had been a reporter for the Tribune for a short time in 1872 and then taught a version of shorthand at Vernor Episcopal Institute outside of Hartford with Azel Stevens Roe, Jr., whom Sam had known from California days. Thompson recalled meeting Sam in mid-March, 1873 [MTL 5: 359].

May 1 Thursday Sam wrote a short note from Hartford to Livy in Elmira. Sam asked if she was well because he’d only had two letters since she left and he figured he’d written fifteen or sixteen [MTL 5: 360]. Sam often exaggerated; Livy had only been gone a week.

Sam signed a receipt dated May 1, 1873:

“Received of Am Pub C six hundred & forty one 72/100” [copy of original, Stowe-Day Library, Hartford].

Elisha Bliss sent a statement of sales for RI & IA from Mar 1 to May 1, 1873, enclosing check for $1,141.72.

May 3 Saturday Sam wrote from Hartford to Elisha Bliss that he and Charles Dudley Warner would “be ready to talk business by about Tuesday, Wednesday, or, at latest, Thursday” (May 8). Sam also used a bit of leverage by passing on the judgment of Sheldon & Co. that he would make “a serious & damaging mistake” trying to sell a novel by subscription. No doubt this is why Bliss agreed to a higher royalty than Sam’s prior books [MTL 5: 361].

May 5 Monday Sam wrote from Hartford to Orion and Mollie Clemens.

Dear Sister & Bro:

Your letters received today—am very glad indeed for the news they brought. We finished revamping & refining the book tonight—ten days’ labor. It is near midnight & we are just through.

I like Orion’s editorials. I like their gentlemanly dignity & refinement as much as their other virtues. The English papers will soon stop I fear—I subscribed till May 1st. Will subscribe for one for Orion when I get to London if I don’t forget it.

Am very sorry to hear Ma is sick. Livy is down. In Elmira. Quinzy. Very bad attack of it. Just heard it to-day. The baby is well.

em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceLovingly

Sam [MTL 5: 362 & notes].

Note: letters from Orion and Mollie not extant; notes of source: “Orion’s presumably reported on his position with the newly established Rutland (Vt.) Globe, which he had agreed to edit from its first issue, published on 1 May.”


May 6 Tuesday – Bill paid to American Publishing Co. for IA books mailed $3.48: to Thomas P. McMurry (Pet), Colony, Missouri, and to Colonel Cooley at depot [MTP]. Notes: Pet McMurry was Sam’s old workmate and printer in St. Louis, and may have been the author of The Free Grant Lands Of Canada (1871). Col. Cooley was probably a Connecticut hero of the Mexican war. 

May 7 Wednesday – Sam’s patent application for the “Improvement in Scrap-Books” was filed [MTL 5: 145n4]. Date of receipt from Hawley, Goodrich & Co. for Hartford Courant for period Oct. 6 ‘72 to May 1 ‘73; $4.56 [MTP].

May 8 Thursday Elisha Bliss arrived in Hartford and met with the collaborating authors. He agreed to a 10% royalty, 5% for each author. George Routledge was also in Hartford that day and probably joined in the negotiations for publication in England. Afterward, Sam left for Elmira by way of New York City. The Gilded Age became the first novel sold by subscription [MTL 5: 361n1].

May 12 Monday Sam wrote from Elmira to James Redpath with his sailing date on the Batavia from New York and the possibility of him lecturing next October in “3 or 4 large eastern cities—but nowhere else.” [MTL 5: 364]. Note: Sam would not lecture in the U.S. again until Mar. 1874.

May 13 Tuesday – Sam wrote from Elmira to Charles Dudley Warner about taking the 600-page requirement out of the contract with Bliss. Susy had been sick most of the night [MTL 5: 365].

May 15 Thursday Sam, Livy, baby Susy, nurse Nellie Bermingham and Clara Spaulding, accompanied by Mrs. Fairbanks, who’d been invited by Mrs. Langdon in April to see the couple off, all left Elmira and traveled to New York.

Note: The New York Times article of June 11, 1873 disclosed that Sam “About a month subsequently, while taking the Erie Railway, on his way to take steamer for Europe, Mark had a book thrust upon him by the newsboy, containing five of his sketches [unauthorized].” This caused Sam to instigate a lawsuit against Benjamin J. Such in New York. This would have been the trip referred to.

May 16 FridayMrs. Fairbanks, Livy and Clara Spaulding spent the night in Livy’s cabin on the Batavia, while Sam stayed at the St. Nicholas Hotel [MTL 5: 366n1].

Sam filed a lawsuit for an injunction and damages of $25,000 against Benjamin J. Such, who Sam had given permission to use one sketch in an advertising pamphlet. To Sam’s shock, Such had used five sketches in “the form of a book, entitled Fun, Fact and Fancy[New York Times, June 11, 1873, p2]. Sam was probably most upset that the book included “a bit of execrable rubbish entitled ‘A Self-Made Man’,” which he did not write [MTL 5: 370n5]. Note: Simon Sterne filed the suit.

Howells sent an inscribed copy of his novel, A Chance Acquaintance (1873): “To S. L. Clemens with ever so much friendship, W. D. Howells. Cambridge, May 16, 1873 [Gribben 327; MTHL 1: 13]. Did it arrive in time to read on board the Batavia?

May 17 Saturday Livy and Sam wrote onboard the SS Batavia to Olivia Lewis Langdon. The ship pulled away from the New York harbor in the morning. Livy wrote that Mrs. Fairbanks had just left them and that Livy’s friend Fidele Brooks also visited. Accompanying the party was Samuel C. Thompson, who was to be Sam’s secretary to take dictation using the method of shorthand he’d been teaching. Sam wrote: “Good bye, mother dear, we are just backing away from the pier. Shall send this back by the pilot” [MTL 5: 366-7].

When the ship was underway Sam wrote to Charles Dudley Warner. Whitelaw Reid had angered Sam by refusing to let Edward House review The Gilded Age for the Tribune. Sam had agreed to send a few letters to the Herald (he sent five on the Shah’s visit to England) and also for the Boston Daily Advertiser. He refused to grant the dramatist Dion Boucicault more than one-third of the profits for dramatizing the book. He also informed Warner that he’d filed a lawsuit against Benjamin J. Such [MTL 5: 367-70].

May 17 to May 27 Tuesday The voyage was uneventful except for a few days of high seas in the first week. Livy, Clara Spaulding, and nurse Nellie were seasick, the latter most affected [MTL 5: 370-1]. Captain John E. Mouland insisted that Livy bring Nellie and Susy in her basket into his chartroom to be more comfortable; he took long walks on deck with Clara; and Livy wrote in her diary,

“He grows more and more delightful the better one knows him—We would not come back with any one else, on any account, if it is possible to come with him.” She added that after a couple of days, Susy began to eat better than she ever had [Salsbury 19]. Note: Livy misspelled the Captain’s name as “Morland.”

May 19 Monday The New York Supreme Court Chief Justice George L. Ingraham (1847-1930) granted Clemens a temporary injunction against Benjamin J. Such [MTL 5: 370n5]. Sam’s attorney was Simon Sterne [NY Times, June 11, 1873 p.2].

Clemens and Charles Dudley Warner secured a dramatic copyright for The Gilded Age, seven months before the novel was published [Thomason, MT Encyc. 229].

May 27 Tuesday – The Batavia docked at Liverpool on May 27 and the Clemens party stayed one night at Captain John and Mrs. Mouland’s home in Linacre, just north of Liverpool [MTL 5: 370-1].

May 28 Wednesday The travelers left Liverpool at 11:30 AM on the train for London. They arrived there about 5:30, and took rooms at Edward’s Royal Cambridge Hotel in Hanover Square. Samuel Thompson “took lodging in a cheaper locality near by” [MTL 5: 371]. Thompson wrote later in his unpublished autobiography:

There was little routine in our daily life here. Sometimes Clemens would dictate in the morning. But there were callers, excursions and sightseeings. He preferred to dictate when fresh from some outing. Otherwise he would forget what he wanted to record. He would light a cigar, walk back and forth and spin it out while I took it down, with an audible grin now and then, the ladies at their needlework. “How cosy this is,” said Mrs. Clemens [MTL 5: 372 citing Thompson, p. 85]. Note: what in the infernal void is an “audible grin”?

May 29 Thursday Sometime from this day until as late as Sunday, June 15, Sam left his card and letter (with “pages of horse-play…closing with a dinner invitation”) for Henry Watterson, the editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, who had arrived in England about a week before the Clemens party. Watterson was Sam’s second cousin by marriage [MTL 5: 372].

May 31 SaturdayLivy wrote in her diary: “Susy’s lower gums are very much swollen and she is a little worried today” [Salsbury 20].

June – Sam dictated a notebook entry to a stenographer: “Work upon Persia by a representative of Great Britain at the court of Teheran. Title something like Ali Baba in Arabian Nights.” Sam was reaching for the name of James Justinian Morier’s (1780?-1849) The Adventures of Hajji Baba, of Ispahan, 3 vols (1824) [Gribben 485].

June 1 or 2 Monday Sam mailed a postcard from The Edwards’ Hotel, London to Henry Lee, Blackfriars Road SE, to inform him of his arrival [MTL 5: 374].

June 9 Monday Sam wrote from Edwards’ Hotel,  George Street, Hanover Square, accepting a dinner invitation from Kate Field and her London hostess, Lady Katherine Dilke (d.1874). Sam was asked to name the day and time; he chose Wednesday, June 11 at 5 PM [MTL 5: 375].

June 10 Tuesday Sam and Samuel C. Thompson attended the Tichborne trial. Arthur Orton, a cockney butcher was on trial for perjury. Orton claimed to be Roger Charles Tichborne, heir to the Tichborne estate [MTNJ 1: 527n2]. This sort of case was Sam’s meat and he recollected this case in Following the Equator (Ch. 15) and also in Paine’s edition of the Autobiography. In the evening the Clemens entourage dined at George Routledge’s [MTNJ 1: 527].

In the Supreme Court of New York, Simon Sterne, counsel for Samuel L. Clemens, argued that the temporary injunction granted Sam on May 19 against Benjamin J. Such, should be made permanent. The injunction was made permanent on June 12 [N.Y. Times, June 12, 1873 p2]. Note: Sam also claimed the use of his nom de plume as trademark.

June 11 Wednesday Sam wrote from the Edwards’ Hotel to Joaquin Miller (Cincinnatus Hiene (or Hiner) Miller) (1839/41-1913) in London. Miller had been active in the literary scene in the 1860s. His poetry made Miller a celebrity in England. Sam was unable to go with Miller on Sunday, June 15, as he had a previous engagement for dinner with George Washburn Smalley (1833-1916), the London correspondent for the New York Tribune. Sam reminded himself in a PS that he was to call on Miller at 4:45 PM Saturday (June 14), however, and that Miller was to call on Sam on Friday (June 13) and bring a friend. The three were then to go to meet Baron Houghton (Richard Monckton Milnes 1809-1885), the editor of Keats, and an early supporter of Swinburne [MTL 5: 376].

No doubt Sam attended the 5 PM dinner given by Lady Dilke and Kate Field that he accepted on June 9.

See June 24 entry for patent of Scrap Book. 1965 GSA letter shows this date.

George W. Smalley hand-delivered a note to Sam at the hotel:

Dear Mr. Clemens, / I don’t know how it happens that I have always missed the pleasure of meeting you. Pray don’t let it go on so. Will you do me the favour to dine with me on Sunday, the 15th at 7.30? Then I shall be sure that you are something more than a name[.] (Indeed I hear you have two names & I am not sure which you prefer. But come.) [MTPO].

June 12Thursday A New York court made the May 19 temporary injunction against Benjamin Such permanent [MTL 5: 370n5; N.Y. Times, June 12, 1873 p.2].

Thompson wrote notes about the party’s trip to the Ascot races with a short side trip to Bushy Park [MTNJ 1: 528].

Later, Sam wrote from Edwards’ Hotel to George H. Fitzgibbon, the London correspondent for the Darlington Northern Echo. Fitz had published a complimentary article on Sam’s growth as a humorist since his Washoe days. Sam thanked him and wrote that he’d given up trying to write an article for the London Observer, due to the “grave, business-looking” nature of the paper [MTL 5: 378].

Sam started a letter to Henry Lee, the naturalist of the Brighton Aquarium. Sam finished the letter after midnight, June 13, after the arrival of a letter from Lee [MTL 5: 380].

June 13 Friday Joaquin Miller brought an unidentified “literary friend” to meet Sam. They then paid respects to Houghton. Samuel Thompson recalled, “Lord Houghton evidently enjoyed Joaquin Miller, and as Clemens drawled along in his grumpy way I have seen Lord Houghton sit on the sofa and shake with laughter till the tears rolled down his face” [MTL 5: 378n3 citing Thompson, p.94].

June 14 Saturday Sam called on Joaquin Miller and they went to the Savage Club [MTL 5: 378n3]. Sam’s “letter” to Josh Billings ran in Street and Smith’s New York Weekly [The Twainian, Feb. 1944 p1]. (See Mar. 1873 entry).

John Camden Hotten (1832-1873), unauthorized publisher of many of Mark Twain’s sketches, died in London [Welland 28].

June 15 Sunday Sam wrote from the Edwards’ Hotel to the American consul general in London, Adam Badeau (1831-1895). Sam sent his and Livy’s regrets they’d been unable to visit due to Livy being “very greatly fatigued because of sight-seeing” [MTL 5: 382]. Notes: Badeau had been on General Sherman’s staff during the Civil War, and the military secretary for General Grant in 1864 [MTL 5: 382]. Thompson’s notes suggest Sam and Thompson visited Westminster Abbey on this day [MTNJ 1: 536n26].

June 17 Tuesday Sam and his secretary Thompson left London and crossed over the channel to Ostend, Belgium to cover the visit of the Shah of Persia, Nasr-ed-Din, the first leader of his country to visit Europe. Sam stayed overnight in Ostend. On this day or the next, Sam wrote from Ostend to John Russell Young, who had been the managing editor of the Tribune prior to Whitelaw Reid, and later founded the New York Standard. He also was the foreign correspondent for the New York Herald, reporting from London and Paris [MTL 5: 383]. The break with Reid over The Gilded Age review led Sam to contribute letters for the Herald over the Tribune.

June 18 Wednesday Sam and Thompson returned from Ostend on the H.M.S. Lively. The pair traveled with some of the Shah’s family and several journalists who had accompanied the Shah on the train from Brussels [MTL 5: 384n1]. Once back in London, Sam wrote to Elisha Bliss that he had

“…begun to write about the Shah to N.Y. Herald—don’t want them copyrighted. You seize them as they appear, & turn them into a 24 cent pamphlet (my royalty 10 per cent) & spread them over the land your own way, but be quick! Don’t let it get cold before you are out” [MTL 5: 384].

Sam wrote the first “Shah letter” for the New York Herald: “The Man of Mark Ready to Bring Over the O’Shah.” In the evening Sam and probably Livy and Clara Spaulding used the three tickets Thompson had secured to attend the performance of Madame Ristori in the historical drama Elizabeth at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. This was the same woman Sam had called the “wretched foreign woman” years before [MTNJ 1: 529n8].


At 11 p.m. in London, Sam wrote to Joaquin Miller:


My Dear Miller: Haven’t received the diploma, but would like exceedingly to go with you tomorrow night if I possibly can — & I feel sure I can. The only thing in the way is, that I may possibly not be able to finish a newspaper letter in time on which I am engaged. If you’ll come by for me I can at least talk a bit about Bliss if I can’t leave home. Bliss will make as much money for you as any publisher, & I think considerably more than any other publishers. / PS I enclose picture for Lord Houghton’s daughter [Christie’s Lot 102 Sale 1216 April 8, 2003; avail. Online]. Note: Richard Monckton Milnes, First Baron Houghton, editor of Keats and a literary figure of note; Miller had introduced him to Sam.


June 19 Thursday Sam wrote from Edwards’ Hotel in London to George Fitzgibbon. His Shah letters, and the move to Langham Hotel the following Wednesday were among the reasons Sam gave for not being able to accompany Fitz to a session of Parliament, which Fitz reported on for the Darlington Northern Echo [MTL 5: 385].

June 22 Sunday The Clemens family and Kate Field dined at the Dilkes [MTL 5: 375n1]. Kate Field, in a letter to the New York Tribune, wrote of the evening:

Mr Twain is endeavoring to instil civilization into the Shah by sitting on the floor and playing draw poker, and says that his august pupil makes wonderful progress in this great American game, and will soon be able to play against the American Minister or the brilliant editor of The Louisville Courier-Journal, who now pines in May Fair for a partner worthy of his deal [MTL 5: 386-7n1]. Note: see insert cartoon from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper July 26.

June 23 Monday – From Livy’s diary:

Little Susy is very well indeed, she creeps all about the room, eats meat and potato for her breakfast every morning and is fat and hearty as possible—Nellie takes care of her now nights. I am out so much that I need my unbroken sleep [Salsbury 20].

June 24 Tuesday – Sam was granted patent number 140,245 for his “Improvement in Scrap-Books.” The scrapbooks were manufactured but sales didn’t take place until 1877 and were handled by Sam’s New York friend, Dan Slote. This proved to be Sam’s only profitable patent [MTL 5: 145n4]. Note: Aug. 27, 1965 letter from General Services Admin. to the MTP gives June 11, 1873 as this patent date. See insert picture of the Scrap Book in Jan. 21, 1878 entry.

June 25 Wednesday Sam and entourage moved to rooms at the Langham Hotel in Portland Place, where a billiards room was available [MTL 5: 372]. “It was a period of continuous honor and entertainment. If Mark Twain had been a lion on his first visit, he was little less than royalty now. His rooms at the Langham were like a court.” Among the esteemed pilgrims trudging to Sam’s rooms were: Anthony Trollope, Wilkie Collins (1824-1889), Sir John Everett Millais, Benjamin Disraeli, Lewis Carroll, Robert Browning, Ivan Turgenieff (Turgenev 1818-1883), Lord Houghton and Sir Charles Ivenworth Dilke (1843-1911). Sam also met Herbert Spencer at a dinner given by George Smalley, and Sir Arthur Helps at a luncheon [MTB 484-5; Willis 83]. Note: Paine indicates Sam met Lewis Carroll at this time [MTB 484], but Carroll’s diary pinpoints the meeting to July 26, 1879 [Green 382]. (See entry.)

Sam wrote from the Langham to Ellen D. Conway, wife of Moncure Conway:

“My wife likes Edwards’ Hotel; & so would I if I were dead; I would not desire a more tranquil & satisfactory tomb” [MTL 5: 388].

Sam also dictated two short notes through Samuel Thompson to R. Cowley-Squier, connected in some way with the London Examiner. Sam declined his “kind offers” but had no time to travel or visit Manchester. Sam also dictated a short note to Lewis Sergeant (1841-1902) and Charles E. Seth-Smith (1847-1894) [MTL 5: 388-90].

June 26 Thursday Clara Spaulding left the Clemens family with her mother to tour Europe for six weeks. She returned on Aug. 9 [MTL 5: 404n1].

June 28 Saturday Sam wrote from the Langham to William Stirling-Maxwell (1818-1878) of London, who had invited Sam to visit the Cosmopolitan Club. The membership included: Lord Houghton, John Motley (1814-1877), Joaquin Miller, Thomas Hughes, Robert Browning, and Anthony Trollope [MTL 5: 391-2].

Sir Frederick Pollock’s Personal Remembrances (1887) p. 252-3 reveals a luncheon with Twain and others:


“28th June [1873]. –Luncheon at home. Lady Castletown, Madame Mohl, Clemens (Mark Twain) and his wife, Joaquin Miller, G.S. Venables, George Cayley” [MTJ 42:1 (Spring 2004) 5].

June 29 Sunday – Sam wrote from London to Joseph Twichell. Livy added a note at the end. A man named Chew had made an agreement to share a story that Sam might publish. Sam liked the story but waited for Chew to send details, it seems the “story” had already been printed. For some reason Chew felt he was owed money when Sam refused to plagiarize. Sam thought different.

If I had him near when his letter came, I would have got out my tomahawk & gone for him.

      I wish to goodness you were here this moment—nobody in our parlor but Livy & me,—& a very good view of London to the fore. We have a luxuriously ample suite of apartments in Langham Hotel, 3 floor, our bedroom looking straight up Portland Place & our parlor having a noble array of great windows looking out upon both streets.…9 P.M. Full twilight—rich sunset tint lingering in the west. I am not going to write anything—rather tell it when I get back. I love you & Harmony, & that is all the fresh news I’ve got, anyway. And I mean to keep that fresh, all the time [MTL 5: 392-3].

July – Sam noted eighteen lines of a memorial poem at the grave of James Thomson (1700-1748), author of The Seasons (poems, 1730) [Gribben 702]. Sam also wondered why Pepys failed to mention the great Shakespeare [540]. Sam also noted the title, translator and publisher of Comte de Hezecques Recollections of a Page to the Court of Louis XVI (1873) [312].

Lady Mary Anne Hardy (Mrs. Thomas Dufus Hardy) (1825-1891) wrote to Sam and enclosed two tickets for “the French Play.” She mentioned “Desclée” as “the most divine of French actresses” [MTP]. Note: Aimée-Olympe Desclée (1836-1874).

July 1 Tuesday Sam’s first of five letters on the Shah of Persia appeared in the New York Herald. The letters were collected as “O’Shah” in Europe and Elsewhere (1923) [MTNJ 1: 537n28]. Sam wrote from the Langham to Moncure Conway. He wrote of his plan to go to Paris to continue writing up the Shah’s visit for the Herald (Sam canceled his plans on July 4), and his inability to go to the Cosmopolitan Club with Moncure. Sam started a second letter to Moncure that he finished the next day [MTL 5: 394-5].

Sam began a letter from the Langham to Joaquin Miller (Cincinnatus Heine (or Hiner) Miller), who was also in London, somewhat of a “literary lion” there.

“I meant to go to Paris tomorrow, but am relieved of that necessity until next day. Am going to try to get to the Cosmopolitan Club about half past ten or eleven tomorrow eve—if you intend to go there can you come by for me?” [394-5].

July 2 Wednesday – Sam finished the letter to Joaquin Miller, asking if he would drop by his hotel at half past ten or quarter to eleven.

In the evening, Sam and Livy dined with George and Phoebe Smalley in Hyde Park Square. Benjamin Moran (1820-1886), secretary of legation to U.S. Minister Robert C. Schenck, was also at the dinner and noted the guests:

“Mr. & Mrs. Smalley, a Miss White of New York, a pleasant girl and friend of Horace Greeley’s daughters; Mrs. Mack, her sister; Mrs. Jones, an Irish literary lady; Mr. Herbert Spencer the political writer [philosopher]; Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain) and his pretty, dark eyed wife, myself, and Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Hughes” [MTL 5: 395n1].

A note in Sam’s autobiographical papers infers that Sam did go to the Cosmopolitan Club late this day:

“The Cosmopolitan Club—Tom Hughes, Lord Houghton, Robert Browning, Lord Kimberley &c” [396n1 top].

July 4 Friday Sam prepared a speech for the Meeting of Americans, London. (published in Fatout, MT Speaking 74-76) but was unable to give it [Welland 63].

Sam’s second of five letters on the Shah of Persia appeared in the New York Herald [MTNJ 1: 537n28].

Sam wrote from the Langham Hotel, noting “Independence Day” to Adam Badeau, naming July 11 or 12 as suitable for visiting Badeau’s “Little Boston House.”

“I tell Mrs. Clemens things begin to look promising. She has been wanting to see Mr. Motley, the Tower of London & Little Boston” [MTL 5: 396]. Note: John Lothrop Motley (1814-1877), American historian and author whom Livy had read, and minister to Austria under Lincoln (1861-7).

Sam also wrote a short note to Moncure Conway that he was not going to France, “because the Shah’s movements are so uncertain” [MTL 5: 397].

In the evening Sam attended a dinner to celebrate Independence Day. Robert C. Schenck,  the U.S. minister presided and would not allow speeches. Sam had been sure he would be called on to speak, so had written and memorized a speech he did not give, the manuscript of which was published as “After-Dinner Speech” in Sketches, New and Old (1875) [MTL 5: 397].

Joaquin Miller wrote from London to Sam. He’d been “down town the last two days” and hadn’t got Sam’s two letters until “last night.” He would send Frederick Locker a note “to say you and I will call there Tuesday next at 5 or 6 p.m. I will call for you at 4 or 5. / Locker is the best humorous poet living. If you have time get a book made up of selections from Locker Tennyson & Browning—I forget the name of it” [MTP].

July 5 Saturday Sam enjoyed the last Floral Hall concert of the season at 2 PM. The Royal Italian Opera performed with Adelina Patti [MTNJ 1: 549n39].

Sam wrote a short acceptance note to Henry Lee to stop at the Whitefriars Club, but only for a half hour, as he had to take Livy to a concert [MTL 5: 398].

He also wrote from the Langham responding to Joaquin Miller’s plan to call on him on Tuesday, that he and Livy would be in the country that day for a 24 or 48-hour visit. Livy had received what Sam called “an inspiring note” from Mary Anne Hardy, wife to Thomas Duffus Hardy (1804-1878) (not of Tess fame) and they planned to visit early, “very soon after 8.” Sam added:

“Simply reading your penmanship has distorted my own handwriting out of all shape; & so if you can’t read this, remember, it is your own fault” [MTL 5: 398].

July 6 Sunday Sam wrote from London to Mary Mason Fairbanks, his letter full of people talk. He wrote about English social life, meeting so many “pleasant people” and “we seem to find no opportunity to see London sights.” Sam’s list of those met: Tom Hughes, Herbert Spencer, Joaquin Miller, Hans Breitmann (Charles Godfrey Leland 1824-1903) William Gorman Wills, Anthony Trollope, Wilkie Collins, Edmund H. Yates (1831-1894), Tom Hood, W.C. Bennett, and Douglas Jerrold Jr. Sam described Lady Hardy as “a very volcano of warm-heartedness & is in a permanent state of irruption.” [MTL 5: 402].

July 7 Monday Anthony Trollope threw a dinner party in honor of Joaquin Miller. Sam attended, as well as Thomas Hughes; Edward Levy, editor of the London Telegraph; Granville George Levenson-Gower, the second Earl Granville and leader of the House of Lords; and Edward Levy [MTL 5: 406-7n11].

Sam wrote from the Langham to Elisha Bliss that he’d “finally concluded not to go to Paris.” Sam directed Bliss to take the Herald letters and put them with an enclosed article about the “Jumping Frog in French” and sell them as a pamphlet [MTL 5: 409].

Moncure Conway wrote to Sam.

My dear Clements, /On the eve of the glorious and never-to-be-disremembered-or-underestimated day when we are to visit Hepworth, the birthplace of a great man, I take pleasure in writing that if tomorrow you will meet me at the great railway Station Paddington at two o’clock p. m. (I put in the p. m. lest in your morning enjoyments in the role of ‘early bird’ you should step in at 2 a. m. Do not.)—at 2 p. m. precisely it will be well with us. Our train leaves at a quarter of an hour later: we go by way of Oxford and Honeybourne (a bourne at which Mrs. C. might naturally stop, but must not), and will soon be clasped in the arms of Mr. Charles [Flower] who will meet us at the Station. / Thine / M D Conway / [MTPO].

July 8 and 9 Wednesday – Sam and Livy visited Charles E. Flower (1830-1892) , mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon. Sam and Moncure Conway played a trick on Livy, a great fan of Shakespeare, telling her they were going to “Epworth” instead of Stratford. At the station they had the carriage go directly to the church and upon entering Shakespeare’s grave, Livy read the inscription “Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare.” Livy exclaimed, “Heavens, where am I!” [MTL 5: 404n2; MTNJ 1: 561-2n55].

July 9 Wednesday – Sam’s third of five letters on the Shah of Persia appeared in the New York Herald. The letters were collected as “O’Shah” in Europe and Elsewhere (1923) [MTNJ 1: 537n28].

July 10 Thursday Sam wrote a short note from London to Elisha Bliss:

“Publish if you want to [the Herald letters], or leave it alone, just as seems best. I am tired of the Shah & shall not write any more” [MTL 5: 413].

July 10? Thursday – Sam and Livy had returned to London by this day. Sam wrote to Charles Dudley Warner about how Colonel Sellers (The Gilded Age) was to be drawn. Sam also had plans to “prowl through rural England” with Joaquin Miller but “Livy & I will ‘do’ Scotland first.”

Livy says—& I endorse it—that you cannot have our mother at any price—but you can have an interest in her for nothing—which is cheap enough. But if you want to negotiate for our baby, any proposition (addressed to me) will meet with prompt attention. I am offered two twins & a cow by an English gentleman in Stratford on Avon with whose family we have been staying a day or two, & I am ready to trade but Livy continues to consider & is a good deal of an obstruction [MTL 5: 411].

July 11 Friday Sam’s fourth of five letters on the Shah of Persia appeared in the New York Herald. Sam referred to the Shah as “the long expected millennium,” and “this splendid barbarian,” so bejeweled that “he shone like a window with the westering sun on it” [Fatout, MT Speaks 83].

Sam and Livy were among 800 guests attending “a grand ball at the Mansion House,” hosted by “the Lady Mayoress” [MTL 5: 404n2]. Sam dictated to Samuel Thompson a short note for George Smith, publisher, that they would not miss their Thursday picnic party [MTL 5: 414].

July 12 Saturday Sam’s article, “The Shah Calls Upon the Queen,” printed in the New York Herald was reprinted in the Cleveland Herald.

After a day’s rest the Shah went to Windsor Castle and called upon the Queen. What that suggests to the reader’s mind is this: That the Shah took a hand satchel and an umbrella, called a cab and said he wanted to get to the Paddington station; that when he arrived there the driver charged him sixpence too much, and he paid it rather than have trouble; that he tried now to buy a ticket, and was answered by a ticket seller as surly as a hotel clerk that he was not selling tickets for that train yet; that he finally got his ticket and was beguiled of his satchel by a railway porter at once, who put it in a first-class carriage and got a sixpence, which the company forbade him to receive; that presently when the guard (or conductor) of the train came along the Shah slipped a shilling into his hand and said he wanted to smoke, and straightway the guard signified that it was all right; that when the Shah arrived at Windsor Castle he rung the bell… [Fatout, MT Speaks 84]. Note: There’s more, of course.

July 14 Monday Sam wrote from the Langham his thanks to Charles E. Flower for the stay at their home. “I may add here, that having learned all about how ale is made, I now take a new & ferocious interest in consuming it” [MTL 5: 416].

Sam’s March 1873 letter to Josh Billings ran in the July 14 issue of the New York Weekly [The Twainian, Feb. 1944 p.1; MTL 5: 866 under “Shaw”].

July 16 Wednesday Sam dictated from London to Elisha Bliss, information about coordinating publishing dates simultaneously with Routledge & Sons. The English version was typeset from proofsheets provided by Bliss, but lacked as many illustrations [MTL 5: 416].

Sam also dictated a letter to Charles Dudley Warner, admonishing him to coordinate the proof sheets [MTL 5: 417]. Shortly after this letter, Sam paid Samuel Thompson and discharged him. Thompson tramped around Europe for the summer and then returned home. The social whirl had not allowed Sam time for much work on the English book. Sam also found his “first experience in dictating” caused sentences to come “slow & painful, & were clumsily phrased, & had no life in them” [MTL 5: 418n2].

In London, Sam and Livy attended a garden party at the home of George MacDonald, clergyman and novelist. In a July 10 invitation to Livy, Louisa MacDonald (Mrs. George MacDonald) described the party:


“The 16th — Wednesday aft — is the day on wh we are going to act our play we call it our July Jumble — our programme includes the inhabitants from some of the courts of Mary-le-bone — some of the elite of St James’ doctors lawyers clergymen artists and this year those Jubilee singers from Nashville College are coming” [MTNJ 1: 564n1].

July 19 Saturday Sam’s fifth of five letters on the Shah of Persia appeared in the New York Herald. The Clemenses left London for Edinburgh, Scotland. They stopped for several days in York, England.

Sam inscribed An Accurate Description and History of the Cathedral and Metropolitan Church of St. Peter, York, from Its First Foundation (1790): Saml. L. Clemens, York, July 19, 1873 [Gribben793].

Sam also inscribed each of three volumes of William Combe’s The History and Antiquities of the City of York, from Its Origin to the Present Times (1785): “Saml. L. Clemens, York, July 19, ’73 [Gribben 155].

July 20 Sunday Sam wrote from York, England to Livy’s mother, Olivia Lewis Langdon. Sam’s letter was a delightful description of York.

“All of which is to say, we have been 24 hours out of London, & they have been 24 hours of rest & quiet. Nobody knows us here—we took good care of that. In Edinburgh we are to be introduced to nobody, & shall stay in a retired, private hotel, & go on resting” [MTL 5: 419].

July 25 Friday By this date Sam’s entourage had arrived in Edinburgh. They stayed at Veitch’s Hotel [MTL 5: 420n1]. Livy wrote to Alice Hooker Day who evidently had asked if Sam would lecture solely for Hartford, and allow her to handle the performance. Livy kindly explained it was a “great labor” to prepare a lecture and that she didn’t know if Sam would lecture at all next season. Livy added that it was quieter in Edinburgh than in London, and that Susy was healthy:

“My baby can walk all about the room by taking hold of my finger; she has been perfectly well all the time” [ALS, Stowe-Day Library, Hartford].

During their stay in Edinburgh, Sam purchased a twelve-foot carved oak mantelpiece, which came from a castle belonging to the Mitchell-Innes family. The elaborate and enormous piece was crated and shipped back to Hartford to be used in the library of the new house [Salsbury 22].

Also on or about this day, Sam wrote from Edinburgh to John Menzies, possibly a distribution agent:

“My Dear Mr. Menzies, / Robert Routledge sent me this, but in the hurry of leaving London I thrust it into my pocket with the other unread letters & never opened it till now. It is rather late, but still I will leave to drop it in the post or leave it myself tomorrow” [MTP, drop-in letters].

July 26 Saturday – The inserted cartoon ran in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper for this day, “The New Heathen Chinee / Mark Twain Teaches the Shah the American Game of Draw Poker” [MTJ Spring/Fall 2011; Vol. 49 p.111]. See cartoon in June 22 entry.

July 27 Sunday Sam wrote from Edinburgh, Scotland to Elisha Bliss. English law required that publication in England precede that in other countries, thus the agreement Sam had with Routledge provided a three-week window; Sam expected The Gilded Age to be out in England before his planned departure on Oct. 25. Sam was pressing Bliss for the proofs [MTL 5: 420-1 & n2].

Sam also wrote to Thomas B. Pugh, lecture manager of Philadelphia’s Star Course, advising him of his need to stay in England until Oct. 25 to see his book through the English press. Sam had promised Pugh he would lecture again [MTL 5: 421].

July 28 Monday – Sam’s reply letter of March was printed in Josh Billings column in the New York Weekly. The Josh Billings’ Farmer’s Allminax had sold hundreds of thousands of copies since 1869 [MTL 5: 306n1&3].

July 30 Wednesday – In Edinburgh, Clemens wrote to an unidentified man. “I have some idea of lecturing in New York,—& possibly in Boston; but shall not be able to do more than that. With thanks for the invitation, I am / Ys Truly …” [MTP].

July 31 Thursday – From Veitch’s Hotel in Edinburgh, Sam wrote to an unidentified autograph seeker asking for Sam’s help in securing the autograph of William Cullen Bryant [MTL 5: 422].

AugustJohn Moffat of Edinburgh made a formal group photograph of Sam, Livy, Susy, Clara Spaulding and Dr. John Brown [MTL 5: 662].

August 2 Saturday – Sam telegraphed and then wrote from Edinburgh to Elisha Bliss, telling him to stop the publication of the pamphlet containing the Herald letters. Paragraphs had been added at the paper causing Sam grief and a desire not to have them reprinted by Bliss, something he feared might harm the sale of The Gilded Age [MTL 5: 425].

Reginald Cholmondeley wrote a one-liner asking when he would have “the pleasure of seeing you & Mrs Clemens here” [MTP].

August 2 and 6 Wednesday – Livy and Sam wrote from Edinburgh to Olivia Lewis Langdon. This is mostly a letter from Livy about baby Susy’s antics, and a short note from Sam writing “ditto” and a note about a set of Scott’s books which had arrived. Sam and Livy took a ride with Dr. John Brown (1810–1882), author of the popular dog story, Rab and His Friend. Brown adored Susy and became a family friend [MTL 5: 426].

August 4 Monday – Sam wrote from Edinburgh to Edmund H. Yates of the New York Herald objecting to an offensive insertion made into Sam’s Shah letter published July 1. Yates had been at Ostend; was in London on Aug. 2, and then went to Vienna [MTL 5: 430].

August 5 TuesdayReginald Cholmondeley wrote to Sam: “I shall be happy to see you & Mrs Clemens at the end of August or beginning of September with your little girl & I will ask Tom Hughes & his wife to meet you” [MTP]. Note: This labeled Aug. 6 but date is written over; could be either.

August 6 Wednesday – From Livy’s diary:

“This afternoon at three o’clock Dr. Brown is coming to take us for a drive; he is the most charming old gentleman and I believe grows more and more so all the time” [Salsbury 23].

August 8and 9 Saturday – Sam and Livy visited Abbotsford and Melrose with Alexander Russel (1814-1876), a friend of Dr. John Brown’s, and an editor for the Edinburgh Scotsman, a paper with a circulation of 40,000. Abbotsford was the home of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) and rooms in his mansion were open to the public [MTL 5: 430n6-7]. Clara Spaulding returned in the evening from Europe.

August 11 Monday – From Livy’s diary:

“It is real hard to have the exchange so heavy—think of taking $3000 and only having $2500 when you get here—If I was sure our house would not exceed $20 or $25,000 I would spend more here, because we shall want the things when we get into our new house” [Salsbury 23].

August 15 FridayLivy wrote her mother of travel plans, which were changed in another letter written this day to Jane Clemens and Pamela Moffett. Livy then wrote they would stay in Edinburgh until “next week when we shall go to Glasgow for a day or two and then sail for Ireland where we shall be for about two weeks and then back to London.” No letters from Sam between Aug. 4 and Sept. 10 have been found [MTL 5: 431].

August 16 to 19 TuesdayJames Ahern worked on the plumbing at the Clemens home in Hartford, billing them $11.16 for work done [MTP].

August 18 MondayAlex Nicolson sent a reprint of his “A Highland Marching Song” from the Inverness Courier of June 13, 1872 [MTP].

August 24 SundayLivy wrote to Susan Crane that they were leaving Edinburgh the next day. “we do so regret leaving Dr. Brown and his sister, thinking that we shall probably never see them again” [MTL 5: 431-2]. From Livy’s diary of Aug. 31:

“Dr. Brown gave Susy a very pretty pin, it is a cairngorm stone, which is a Scotch stone, brilliant and about the value of an amethyst—she is to have it when she is married and I am to wear it until then…” [Salsbury 24]

August 25 MondayThe Clemenses went to Glasgow, Scotland, where they stayed two days [MTL 5: 432].

August 28 Thursday – Sam and party left Glasgow for Belfast, Ireland, experiencing a rough ferry boat ride where everyone except Sam got seasick. The family reached Belfast about 8 PM and took dinner with Francis Dalzell Finlay (1832?-1917), son-in-law to Alexander Russel [MTL 5: 432]. Finlay was the owner of The Northern Whig until 1875. According to his son, in a letter printed in the Oct. 1944 The Twainian, Finlay was “deeply interested in literature and was on intimate terms with all the prominent writers of his day, Dickens, Thackery, etc.” [6]. Sam cultivated the acquaintance of such men.

August 30 Saturday – In Belfast, Frank Finlay inscribed Prize Essays on “Billiards as an Amusement for all Classes,” James Galt & Co. (1873) to Sam [Gribben 561]. Finlay also inscribed editor Charles Rogers The Centenary Garland [etc.,] to Livy [585]. Thus the Clemens family must have spent the nights of Aug. 28, 29 and 30 in Belfast.

September 1 Monday – The Clemens family went to Dublin, where they took rooms at the Shelbourne Hotel for several days, probably until Sept. 5 or 6 [MTL 5: 432].

September 2 Tuesday – The first boxed set of “Authors” card game with Mark Twain included was patented by West & Lee Co. of Worcester, Mass. [eBay Nov. 11, 2009 Item # 320446989875]. Note: several items listed about Mark Twain on the back of the card postdate the patent date.

September 5? To 8 Monday – The Clemens party took a ferry across the Irish Sea to Liverpool, and then traveled south to Chester some twenty miles. From Chester they went further south another thirty-five miles to Shrewsbury, where they were the guests of Reginald Cholmondeley (1826-1896) at Condover Hall. Sam wrote an account of Cholmondeley’s invitation. Sam used the name “Bascom” in Ch. 15 of Following the Equator [MTL 5: 432].

September 9 Tuesday – Sam and family returned to London [MTL 5: 432]. Livy was homesick, but Sam had not yet received proofs of GA: Paine quotes Livy’s diary:

I am blue and cross and homesick. I suppose what makes me feel the latter is because we are contemplating to stay in London another month. There has not one sheet of Mr. Clemens’s proof come yet, and if he goes home before the book is published here he will lose the copyright. And then his friends feel that it will be better for him to lecture in London before his book is published, not only that it will give him a larger but a more enviable reputation. I would not hesitate one moment if it were simply for the money…but if his reputation will be better for his staying and lecturing, of course he ought to stay….The truth is, I can’t bear the thought of postponing going home [MTB 487].

September 10 Wednesday – Sam wrote a short from London to William S. Andrews (1841-1912), about being home in plenty of time to help Andrews prepare for an appearance at Association Hall in New York [MTL 5: 434-5].

Sam also wrote to Thomas Wallace Knox, who had asked Sam to write something for an anthology by the Lotos Club and suggested Sam visit Vienna. Sam good-naturedly declined but would later offer “An Encounter with an Interviewer” for the Nov. 1874 volume [MTL 5: 435].

Sam also telegraphed Henry Lee with news of his arrival back in London [437].

September 19 Friday – Sam dated his double signature with “London” to an unidentified person [liveauctioneers.com/item/104701; Sept. 6, 2003].

September 20 Saturday – Dr. John Brown sent a small printed folder with two poems, no letter [MTP].

The closed. New York Stock Exchange It would stay closed for ten days. This began the Great Depression of 1873, the longest in US history; it  lasted through the spring of 1879 and caught Sam in a financial bind when his NY bank, Henry Clews & Co. froze funds.

September 21 Sunday – In London, Sam wrote to his mother, Jane Clemens and family all about sealskin coats he’d obtained or ordered for Jane Clemens, Pamela Moffett, and Charles Langdon. Sam boasted of saving about fifteen or twenty dollars each by buying wholesale through an “old friend.” He added:

Livy & the baby are well. Indeed, the baby seems to have unfailing robust health. She is on her feet all her waking hours, and always busy—generally in matters that would fare better without her help. She says a few trifling words in broken English [MTP, drop-in letters]. Note: this letter was previously labeled as “Sept.12?” by the studious bunch at MTP. See MTL 5:438.

September 22 Monday – Dr. John Brown wrote to Sam

My dear friend— Thanks for yours. By this time you will have got my letter & I hope the photos—do you remain some time in London? let me know where it is safest to write to you. I am glad you saw something of life in Salop—did you see St Mary’s Church in Shrewsbury? When are you thinking of crossing the sea? if I were 40 & not broken hearted, I would come with you. I may perhaps ask you to take some charge of a Collie which I hope to send to Professor Forsyth at West Point Academy. Baby will pull its ears & poke her fingers into its eyes, to pass the time on deck— I am glad you have so much good to tell of her & her Mother & the lealhearted Miss Spaulding—you will tell me if you got my Shelbourne letter. Isabella & “Jock” send their best regards / Yrs. (all) affectly / J. Brown /I sent my letter & the Photos to the Care of Routledge & Sons / [MTPO].

September 22 and 25 Thursday – Sam wrote from London to Dr. John Brown, thanking him for the photographs taken while in Edinburgh and for his many kindnesses during their visit. Sam wrote of his shock at the financial panic in America and of his continued plan to sail on Oct. 25 (they actually left four days earlier). Sam’s bank had suspended payments in the face of a run on deposits and would not issue more until January; Sam did not sleep well [MTL 5: 439].

September 23 Tuesday – Sam wrote a short query to the editor of Punch, Charles William Shirley Brooks (1816-1874), and asked if he might send a short article [MTL 5: 442]. Note: Sam’s note has been surmised by the MTP as relating to the unpublished “About a Visit to the Doré Gallery in London” [MTL 5: 442n1]. Brooks’ response, if any, is not extant; nor did any Twain article appear in Punch. The humorous sketch about the Gallery does survive at the MTP. It mocked the efforts of the Gallery to sell engravings to visitors.

September 24 Wednesday In the evening after the theater, Sam and Livy learned of the suspension of funds at their New York bank, Henry Clews & Co.  [Willis 85]. It wasn’t until early Jan. 1874 that the bank was able to resume business and pay all obligations in full. In 1886, however, Sam continued to believe that Clews had cheated him out of money [MTL 5: 441n3].

September 25 or 26 Friday – Sam sent a postcard from London to Henry Lee, accepting his invitation to visit the Brighton Aquarium, and asking that he wait about the plans to visit Paris until they saw him [MTL 5: 443].

September 27 Saturday – Sam and Livy revisited the Brighton Aquarium. Sam had a head cold. Both Livy and Sam were anxious about getting money from their New York bank, Henry Clews & Co. Sam suggested borrowing from Routledge & Sons [MTL 5: 443-4n1].

September 29 Monday – Sam sent a note and letter from the Langham to Louisa P. MacDonald, wife of George MacDonald and mother of eleven children. The communications were about invitations and missing Louisa when they called.

“…we just barely missed you both, & were so disappointed! And out of eleven children we couldn’t scare up even one” [MTL 5: 444-5].

Louisa P. McDonald (Mrs. George MacDonald) wrote from London to Sam, sorry she couldn’t see him as they were going to Hastings on Tuesday [MTP].

September 30 Tuesday – Sam and Livy left baby Susy with nurse Nellie Bermingham and traveled to Paris with Henry Lee for a week’s stay. Nothing is known about their time in Paris, but it would be Sam’s second visit there, so he probably knew where to take Livy [MTL 5: 446].

October 6 Monday – Dr. John Brown wrote to thank Sam and Livy for their letters and asked what they were doing in Paris. “That is a delightful Susie letter…give her my love” [MTP].

October 7 Tuesday – Sam and Livy returned to London. Sam, probably still anxious of his suspended bank funds, agreed to lecture—a solution he’d often turned to when feeling pinched in the pocketbook. His lecture schedule was to begin on Oct. 13 and was arranged by George Dolby. Six London dates were booked for Sam’s “Sandwich Islands” talk, and one final lecture in Liverpool for Oct. 20. To advertise the lectures, Sam notified Henry Lee of his upcoming lectures and also wrote a letter to the editor of the London Standard clearly intended for the public:

“…I can allay any kind of excitement by lecturing upon it. I have saved many communities in this way. I have always been able to paralyze the public interest in any topic that I chose to take hold of & elucidate with all my strength” [MTL 5: 448-9].

October 8 Wednesday Sam autographed a post card about tickets and an invitation to dinner for Henry Lee, who it is assumed responded at once to Sam’s notice about lecturing. Sam then sent two notes that he was writing to Dolby asking for tickets for Lee [MTL 5: 450-1].

October 9 Thursday Sam’s letter of Oct. 7 to the London Standard was published in that paper [MTL 5: 448].

The Daily Graphic featured a front page arrangement of nine oval engraved portraits, with Mark Twain in the middle [eBay Sept. 23, 2009, Item 370249824620].

October 11 Saturday – A brief notice in the Court Journal (London), in full:

Mark Twain proposes to allay all excitement and interest in the Sandwich Island difficulty by lecturing on it, declaring that he has always been able to paralyse the interest in any public subject by lecturing on it. Would that other distinguished lecturers would sum themselves up with like pleasing candor! We are only sorry to hear that Mark delays his departure for America a week to do this thing [Tenney, Supplement American Literary Realism, Autumn 1981 p161].

October 12 Sunday Sam wrote a short note from London to Olivia Lewis Langdon agreeing that they would stop at the “new hotel” (The Windsor) in New York rather than the St. Nicholas. Sam wrote he was resting for his first lecture the following night [MTL 5: 452].

Shirley Brooks wrote to Sam (transcript of clipping enclosed) [MTP].

October 13 Monday – Sam gave his “Our Fellow Savages of the Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, Hanover Square, London at 8 PM [Baetzhold 17]. Lorch points out that this was “the most fashionable [hall] in London, instead of the more popular Egyptian Hall where Artemus Ward had lectured…unquestionably made at Mark Twain’s request” [139].

Sam wrote to George Bentley (1828-1895) head of the London publishers Richard Bentley & Son. Sam had called several times on Bentley to confirm his use or the return of the “Jumping Frog in French” sketch, but was unsuccessful in finding him in [MTL 5: 454].

October 14 Tuesday – Sam repeated his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, Hanover Square, London at 8 PM [Baetzhold 17]. “Judging by the attendance, applause, and laughter, the lecture was a great success,” wrote George H. Fitzgibbon, the London correspondent for the Darlington Northern Echo [MTL 5: 453].

October 15 Wednesday – Sam repeated his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, Hanover Square, London at 8 PM [Baetzhold 17]. Sam again wrote to George Bentley  about the French Frog sketch, but held the letter until he was in route on the Batavia, where he completed the note on Oct. 30 [MTL 5: 455].

October 16 Thursday – In London Sam wrote to Charles Warren Stoddard:


Please pass the bearer to a good stall.
em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceMark Twain.

Oct. 16.

My Dear Old Boy—

Can’t you take this note as your authority & run in to the lecture (Hanover Square Rooms) tomorrow evening or Saturday afternoon? Or mail this to Geo. Dolby, (if you prefer,) 52 New Bond street, & he will send you ticket.

Or can’t you come to my room, 113, third floor, Langham, from 11 till [noon?] Am always in then. With great love [&] in great haste, Mark.

Sam repeated his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, Hanover Square, London at 8 PM [Baetzhold 17].

October 17 Friday – Sam repeated his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, Hanover Square, London at 8 PM [Baetzhold 17].

The Bohemian Club of San Francisco voted Mark Twain an honorary member: Robert H. Fletcher, ed. The Annals of the Bohemian Club, etc. On p. 52 notes that Mark Twain became an honorary member Oct. 17, 1873, as did Bret Harte, “about the same time” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Fifth Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1981 p. 164].

October 18 Saturday – Sam repeated his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, Hanover Square, London at 3 PM [Baetzhold 17]. The London Graphic reported:

Description of the manners and customs of the natives were interspersed with various witticisms, which were heartily appreciated and loudly applauded. Mr. Twain evidently has “the art of putting things.” The lecture, which lasted rather more than an hour, …was listened to throughout with great interest.

The London Examiner: “…we have had in Mark Twain (Mr. S.L Clemens) a genuine specimen of the American humorous lecturer.”

Each night Sam’s audience grew, so that by the end of the week many were turned away.

Date of a contract between Sam and Routledge for The Gilded Age; Sam signed for self and for Charles Dudley Warner with witness Ellen Bermingham [MTP].

October 19 Sunday Sam wrote from Room 113 at the Langham in London to Charles Warren Stoddard, who had arrived in England on Oct. 13 as a roving-reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Sam hired Stoddard to keep clippings from the London Standard of the Tichborne Clamaint trial, a scandalous mess of the day, which fascinated because of Lampton family claims of royalty [MTL 5: 456].

October 20 Monday – Sam repeated his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Liverpool Institute, Liverpool, England [MTPO]. The review by the Liverpool Mercury was effusive. It was also positive [MTL 5: 458n1].

October 21 Tuesday – Sam, family and party sailed from Liverpool for New York on the SS. Batavia [MTL 5: 451n1]. Sam had not received any proofs of The Gilded Age, but Livy’s homesickness (she was also pregnant again) led Sam to escort the family home and then to return for more lectures and to await the proofs in order to claim copyright. The first three days were stormy and the females in the party were all seasick [Salsbury 25].

October 22 Wednesday Sam sent a note of thanks for books to an unidentified person. Sam dispatched the letter at Queenstown, Ireland [MTL 5: 458].

October 30 Thursday Sam wrote on board the Batavia to Dr. John Brown. Everyone in Sam’s party save himself had been seasick for the first three days, but now it had been:

“…smoothe, & balmy, & sunny & altogether lovely for a day or two now, & at night there is a broad luminous highway stretching over the sea to the moon, over which the spirits of the sea are traveling up & down all through the secret night & having a genuine good time, I make no doubt.”

Sam also told of an infant dying and being buried at sea [MTL 5: 459].

Sam also wrote to Arthur E. Bancroft of Cambridge, England:

Dear Sir:

I beg you will pardon this delay in acknowledging your courtesy—I was so hurried that I had to stop answering letters of all kinds. I thank you very much indeed, & when I return to England next month I may possibly come to Cambridge, in the course of events—in which case I would be glad to enjoy the hospitality you have so kindly tendered.

Ys Truly

Sam. L. Clemens

em spaceem spaceem spaceMark Twain [MTPO].

In Hartford, a load of hay was delivered to the Clemens home by Paul Thompson for a delivery fee of 5 cents [MTP].

November 2 Sunday – The Batavia reached port in New York City at dusk. Livy’s mother and brother, and also Orion (who was in the city looking for work) met the Clemens family at the pier. Charles Langdon had reserved rooms at the new Windsor Hotel, where the party spent the night. Charles returned to Elmira, while Clara Spaulding and her mother met Clara’s brother and stayed at Barnum’s Hotel [MTL 5: 460].

November 3 Monday The Clemens family attended Edwin Booth’s NY performance of Hamlet [MTL 5: 460]. Note: Booth (1833-1893). Paine [MTB 495] attributes to Orion a detail not in his letter to Mollie:

“Booth sent for Sam to come behind the scenes, and when Sam proposed to add a part to Hamlet, the part of a bystander who makes humorous modern comment on the situations in the play, Booth laughed immoderately” [MTL 5: 460]

Sam called this his “queer play,” and on Sept. 3, 1881 told Howells,

“I did the thing once—nine years ago; the addition was a country cousin of Hamlet’s. But it did not suit me, & I burnt it” [MTHL 2: 369].

Bill paid to Hartford merchant for $150 for bedding and furniture [MTP].

November 4 Tuesday The Clemens family returned to Hartford with Mrs. Langdon, who planned to visit there a few days [MTL 5: 461].

November 5 Wednesday Sam wrote from Hartford to Elisha Bliss directing books be sent to personal friends and journalists in London, Edinburgh, Ireland, France, and various places in America—two dozen or so. Among this list were Sam’s old friends in Nevada, Chicago and San Francisco, as well as those he had made acquaintance with in England. Sam specified them to receive the earliest copies, which resulted in a few reviews before the official publication date of Dec. 23 [MTL 5: 461]. The letter is now included here:

Friend Bliss:

      Please send very early copies of the Gilded Age (Library style) to

Tom Hood, 80 Fleet st. London

Henry Lee, 43 Holland st. Blackfriars Road, London.

G. W. Smalley, (N. Y. Tribune Bureau,) 13 Pall Mall, London.

George Sauer, (N. Y. Herald Bureau,) 46 Fleet street.

Publisher Figaro, Fleet street.

Mr. Johnstone, Publisher Daily Standard, Shoe Lane, London.

Shirley Brooks, Editor Punch, London.

Mr. Russel, Editor Scotsman, Edinburgh.

G. Fitz Gibbon, 1 Wellesley Terrace, Upper Street, Islington, London.


Joseph T. Goodman, Virginia, Nevada.

Joseph Medill, (“Tribune,”[)] Chicago.

Frank Soulé & John McCombem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceCare “Alta” San Francisco.

Col. John Hay, Lotos Club, 2 Irving Place, N. Y.

J. G. Croly, Daily Graphic, N. Y.

G. W. Hosmer, “Herald,” N. York.


Mr. Abel, Proprietor “Sun,” Baltimore. Also, sendem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceextracts & advanced sheets to him—greatem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spacefriend of mine

The same to Donn Piatt, “Capital” Washington.

James Redpath, 36 Bromfield st. Boston.

Clara Louise Moulton (Tribune Correspondent,[)] Boston.

D. W. Howells &

em spaceem space T. B. Aldrichem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceAtlantic Monthly.

Mrs. Jane Clemens, Fredonia New York.

George A. Hawes, Hannibal, Mo.

Thos. P. McMurry, Colony, Knox Co., Mo.

Fred. Quarles, Waco, Texas.

Mrs. A. W. Fairbanks, (care “Herald”) Cleveland, Ohio.

Sam. Williams, on, “Bulletin,” San Francisco.


[bottom one-third of page left blank]


Also, send half Turkey copies of Innocents,em spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceem spaceRoughing It & Gilded Age, to

em spaceem spaceDr. Brown, 23 Rutland street, Edinburgh, Scotland.

em spaceem spaceFrank D. Finlay, 4 Royal Terrace, Belfast, Ireland.

Charge them to me.

Send the earliest copies, & don’t forget. They are promised.

Also, send a half Turkey Gilded Age to

Judge Thomas Sunderland, 1 Rue Scribe, Paris, France.

Don’t fail.


   Mark. [MTPO]. See identifiers at source.

Royalty check with this date from American Publishing Co. for $1,315.08 for RI sales [MTP].

The New York Daily Graphic reported on arrangements for the London publication of The Gilded Age [Tenney 5] (Also on Nov. 8.)

D. Bliss writes of the dire financial situation at the time GA was published:

By the time The Gilded Age was published in November 1873, the speculative bubble had burst. In September 1873 the nation’s premier investment bank—Jay Cook & Co., which had financed the Union victory—collapsed. It had made too many risky loans for overvalued real estate and underutilized railroads. The country entered what was then called the Great Depression. The economy shrank for sixty-five straight months—sill an unbroken record. By 1876 half the nation’s railroads were bankrupt, and half the iron and steel foundries were closed. Three years later wholesale prices were down 30 percent. The Gilded Age conveys a powerful message about the perils of a culture obsessed with getting rich, a free market driven by risky speculation, and a government subservient to moneyed interests [xiv]. Note: Ironically, Clemens was deeply motivated his entire life by the desire to get rich and also driven by risky speculation.

November 6 Thursday Sam wrote from Hartford to Jane Clemens with a proposition for Orion, who had been struggling to find work in New York. If Orion would stay in Fredonia but not live under the same roof with his mother, and sister, then Sam would pay him up to twenty dollars a week pension, as long as he is idle or can make no more than ten dollars a week on his own. He’d planned to offer this to Orion in New York, but it was a rush there, and Sam now made it through his mother [MTL 5: 471].

November 7 Friday – Sam wrote from Hartford to Will Bowen. Will’s wife of sixteen years had died and Sam had received the news in London. He told Will of his plan to start back to New York the next day, and invited Will to visit them in Hartford after their home was done in May. “We will talk over old times and tell my wife about them” [MTL 5: 472].

In the evening, Sam left Hartford for New York [MTL 5: 474n5]. He stayed the night at Dan Slote’s house, 110 East Fifty-fifth Street, where Dan’s wife sewed a button on Sam’s shirt [MTL 5: 476n2].

November 8 Saturday – In the morning, Sam sailed alone on the City of Chester for England, where he would await publication by Routledge and continue lecturing [MTL 5: 472].

On board, Sam wrote to Livy:

Just going out to sea, / 9 a.m. / Livy darling, it is just a lovely ship, & this smoking room is perfection. The Batavia left considerably ahead of us, but we overtook her in half an hour & swept by her as if she were standing still. She looks like a yawl beside this vast vessel. Capt. Mouland sent a very regretful letter, which smote me. Bless you, dear old darling, & good-by. Kiss mother & the Modoc. / Saml [MTP, drop-in letters].

November 10 and 17 Monday – Sam wrote aboard the SS City of Chester en route to Livy—“3 days out from N.Y.” After a long description of how wonderfully the ship was appointed, Sam referred to Livy’s pregnancy (she was two months along) and expressed some guilt that he had left her “at a time when you cannot exert yourself without peril.” Sam promised to telegraph as soon as he reached Queenstown and look for an answer in Liverpool or London. On Nov. 17 he added that he’d telegraphed [MTL 5: 473-4].

November 14 Friday – Sam wrote aboard the SS City of Chester en route to Livy—“7 day out.” Sam wrote of a half-gale and some rolling of the ship, an injury or two to passengers, a leaky dead-light in his cabin and of repairs to his clothing. “I have read all night during this [rough] weather—sleep would only tire me.”

What did Sam read? A copy of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa Harlowe was in Sam’s library. The book was inscribed: Saml. L. Clemens/ Cabin 55 & 56/ Steamer—City of Chester. It was also signed “Harriet Ward, London, October 23rd, 1868[Gribben 578] —possibly the prior owner.

Sam worried about Livy, probably feeling guilt for leaving her again so soon in her condition [MTL 5: 475].

November 15 SaturdayHarper’s Weekly ran an engraving, 11×15 entitled, “THE LYCEUM COMMITTEEMAN’S DREAM—SOME POPULAR LECTURERS IN CHARACTER,” which featured nineteen lecturers, including Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain in a jester’s outfit [eBay Oct. 6, 2009 by nls, Item 360061792731]. See insert.


November 17 Monday The City of Chester arrived at Queenstown, Ireland at 6 PM. Sam telegraphed Livy [MTL 5: 476].


November 18 Tuesday – Sam arrived in Liverpool. Either Sam got a hotel room that night or took a train to London [MTL 5: 476; Powers, MT A Life 339].


November 19 Wednesday – Sam checked into his rooms at the Langham Hotel in London There he was joined by Charles Warren Stoddard. In an 1876 letter to Howells, asking him to recommend Stoddard for a consulship:

Poor, sweet, pure-hearted, good-intentioned, impotent Stoddard., I have known for 12 years, now, & in all that time he has never been fit for anything but a consul. When I was at the Langham Hotel in London I hired him for 3 months, at $15 a week & board & lodging, to sit up nights with me & dissipate. At the end of the time he wouldn’t take a cent. I had to finally smuggle it to him through Dolby after leaving England [MTL 5: 476].

A bill was paid to James Ahern, Practical Plumber and Gas Fitter, 272 Main St., Hartford, for work done Aug. 16, Nov. 12, 13, 14, 19. The total $11.16 [MTP].

November 20 Thursday Sam wrote from room 113 at the Langham to Livy. Sam was lonely, having breakfast but no one to share it with. His letter to Livy was wistful, resigned. His nickname for baby Susy was “Modoc,” coined by Joaquin Miller, Susy’s hair reminding him of the Modoc Indians he’d written about. Earlier, Sam had called her “Muggins[MTL 5: 478].

November 21 Friday – Sam wrote from London to Livy. He’d gone shopping and purchased an overcoat, some meerschaum pipes, a “particularly nice” umbrella, a hat, a hatbrush, a couple of razors, and ordered “some patent leather shoes at a considerably higher price than one pays in Hartford for such things” [MTL 5: 480].

November 22 Saturday – From the Langham, Sam dictated a short note to Charles Warren Stoddard for Henry Lee. Sam was busy preparing for his lectures, which would begin Dec. 1 and could not promise to “go down to Croydon on Wednesday next” [MTL 5: 481].

A bill to Livy was paid to James G. Wells & Co., 15 Asylum street, Hartford, dealers china, glass, etc., for items totaling $12.18 [MTP].

November 23 Sunday – Sam wrote from London to Livy, of the “very sunny & bright & cheery” weather. He and Stoddard had walked through Regent’s Park and to the top of Primrose Hill and back. Stoddard had been spending time at Oxford University and brought Sam an invitation to speak there. Sam liked the idea, but did not lecture there [MTL 5: 482]. Stoddard wrote of his visits to Oxford for the San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 10 and 19.

November 24 Monday Sam wrote from London to Livy.

“Dolby is the same jolly good fellow, & says heaps of pleasant things about you & Clara—among the rest that you, in face & nature & everything, are the most perfect woman he ever saw or knew—which is simply what any one would say, & so it does not surprise me.”

Sam described theatrical performances at Oxford: the students brought pups and let them roam around the stage; they would not bear long piano recitals without talking to the pianist and asking questions and traipsing across the stage to talk to friends on the other side and “borrow” their pups [MTL 5: 483].

Sam also wrote to Henry Lee:

Dear Lee—

      I’m going to that Scotch dinner the 29th (Mr. Reid’s guest) & so you’ll go too, won’t you?

      I don’t know where it is to be. Will you come by for me And if you can’t, will you let me know where it is to be, & what hour it is to come off? / Ys Ever / Clemens [MTP, drop-in letters].

In Hartford, E.P. & Wm. Kellogg receipted Livy for “1 rustic & box” $2.50 [MTP].

November 25 TuesdayAndrew Chatto’s letter to Clemens of this date introduced him as the successor to John Camden Hotten, who died on June 14. Chatto enclosed “a set of the sheets of a volume of your writings, in order that you may (as I understand you expressed a desire to do) correct certain portions of the contents” [Welland 31].

November 26 WednesdayCharles Kingsley (1819-1875), the canon of Westminster and author of several historical novels and other works wrote to Clemens:

My dear Sir / I tried in vain, when you were last in London, to have the great pleasure of introducing myself to you. I called—hearing that you had returned—at the Langham Hotel today: but was too meek to intrude on you—even had you been at home.

      But will you kindly let me know when I may have a chance of seeing you: I shall be absent from Town from next Monday to next Thursday.

      Before & after that I am at your service. And may I say, that if you care to make a closer acquaintance than the multitude can make with our English Pantheon the old Abbey here—it would give me—& mine for my ladies are even more fond of your work than I—extreme pleasure to act as cicerones to some strange & remote spots in our great Stone Mausoleum. / Believe me with sincere respects [MTPO].

Sam wrote from London to Livy, remembering her birthday of Nov. 27. Sam enclosed the above note from. Kingsley. Sam and Kingsley had lunch soon after [MTL 5: 485].

November 27 Thursday Livy’s 28th birthday.

November 28 Friday Sam wrote from London to George H. Fitzgibbon. Sam thanked him for his “timely hints & suggestions,” and that he had written a ten-minute speech that he enclosed. Sam wrote the speech for a dinner on Monday, Dec. 1, attended after his lecture [MTL 5: 489].

At Hartford, a load of hay was delivered by Paul Thompson, who receipted the family a delivery fee of 25 cents for 1960 lbs. [MTP].

November 29 Saturday – Sam spoke at St. Andrew’s Society, Salutation Tavern, London, replying to the toast of “The Guests” (see this reply MTL 5: 491). The speech was printed in the Hartford Daily Courant, Dec. 20, 1873, p2 as “Mark Twain on Scotland.” It may also be found in The Twainian, Nov.-Dec. 1957 p4 as “Mark Twain Toasts the Scotch.” Note: this is “that Scotch dinner” Sam referred to in his Nov. 24 to Henry Lee, as Mr. Reid’s guest.

Charles Kingsley wrote to Sam:Many thanks for your cordial letter. Will you & Mr. Stoddard give me the pleasure of coming to luncheon tomorrow at 1 P.M.? I am sorry—& so will Mrs. Kingsley be—that she is out of town. After our luncheon & our cigarette—we can look at the Abbey or not, as you may like” [MTP].

At the Clemens home in Hartford, hay was delivered by Paul Thompson [MTP].

November 30 Sunday Sam’s 38th birthday.

Livy paid $198.40 to Madame Fogarty 149 East 21st street Gramercy Park, New York for the making a black silk costume, and a blue velvet costume, with linings, fringes, etc. [MTP].

December – In an Atlantic Monthly article, comparisons were made between recent California writers, including Sam Clemens, Bret Harte, Charles Warren Stoddard, Prentice Mulford (1834-1891), and Charles Webb.

“The greatest and most original of these is Twain, whose tone of “perpetual personal companionship” is the chief characteristic of the pure humorist.”

December 1 Monday Sam gave his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, Hanover Square, London. George Dolby arranged his English lecture tour. After the first night’s lecture, Sam gave his ten-minute speech, “The Ladies” for the Scottish Corporation, commemorating their 209th anniversary. The group provided assistance for needy Scots in London [See Sam’s speech: Fatout, MT Speaking 78-80].

Dr. John Brown wrote to Sam: “My dear friend—Welcome back!” [MTP].

December 2 Tuesday Sam gave his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO].

December 3 Wednesday Sam gave his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO]. Sam wrote a short note from London to Livy:

“Livy darling, I am as busy as I can be, day & night, revamping & memorizing my “Roughing It” lecture, because I want to use it next week. After that I want to try a reading here if I get time to prepare it. I won’t write you more, now, except to say that I love you with all my heart” [MTL 5: 493].

December 4 Thursday Sam gave his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO].

December 5 Friday Sam gave his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO]. These lectures were given to full and enthusiastic houses and were consistently successful. Stoddard wrote that after his lectures Sam “always felt amiable, and met the people who came to shake hands…and cheerfully gave autographs.” Stoddard observed that “Lecturing excited him and got him started and he would talk for hours.” Stoddard also saw a melancholy side of Sam back at the Langham after lectures, with Sam drinking several cocktails:

Very, very often these nightly talks became a lament. He [Sam] was always afraid of dying in the poorhouse. The burden of his woe was that he would grow old and lose the power of interesting an audience, and become unable to write, and then what would become of him? He had trained himself to do nothing else. He could not work with his hands. There could be no escape. The poorhouse was his destiny. And he’d drink cocktails and grow more and more gloomy and blue until he fairly wept at the misery of his own future [MTL 5: 477-8].

John Colburne wrote to Sam. This is what the MTP calls a “ghost letter,” being referred to somewhere but with no known text. It’s possible this will surface in time [MTP].

December 6 Saturday In the afternoon, Sam gave his “Sandwich Islands” lecture at Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO]. Afterward, Sam wrote a short note to Livy.

“There was a mighty fine house there this afternoon, & I went through all right, but I am getting unspeakably sick of the Sandwich Islands as a topic to lecture on. I shall get tired of the new one in a week I expect” [MTL 5: 494].

A bill was paid to Gridley & Frisbee, Hartford dealer of soap & candles, skins, hides, for $5.25 [MTP].

Prentice Mulford (“Dogberry”) wrote from London to solicit Sam’s help with London publishers who he claimed were stealing by not paying him. He was “very much down at present; you are up where you deserve to be”[MTP]. Note: Sam’s reply is not extant, but Mulford’s of the next day, Dec. 7 thanking for tickets and sympathy shows he did reply on Dec. 6 or 7.

December 7 Sunday – Sam wrote another short note from London to Livy. He’d rehearsed his “Roughing It” lecture and thought he’d enjoy it. He asked if she got his telegram from Queenstown, and said that Bliss needed to “hurry up the book” if he was to copyright it in England [MTL 5: 495].

Prentice Mulford (“Dogberry”) wrote to Sam: “I shall be happy to receive the ticket & comply with your invitation to breakfast on Tuesday Morning. I thank you for the kindly tone and sympathy in yr note. It gives me fresh strength to renew the contest” [MTP]. Note: from this context it seems Clemens replied to Mulford’s Dec. 6, but no reply is extant.

December 8 Monday Sam sent a short note to an unidentified member of the London Morayshire Club who had sent him tickets to a club dinner that evening. Sam answered that he would be there at about 10 PM, “which is as early as I can get away from my lecture.” That evening, Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [Fatout, MT Speaking 48-63 paraphrased; Schmidt]. Afterwards, Sam attended the Morayshire Club dinner [MTL 5: 496].

A receipt for this date for $1.25 to New York for the Connecticut Valley R.R. Co. is in the MTP. Who used it? Possibly Livy.

Dr. John Brown wrote from Edinburgh, Scotland to Clemens:

My dear friend — Thanks for the M. Post—& the capital speech— You must have enjoyed it, as well as they you. When are you coming here?—are you under a “former”?—surely you will give us a turn—I had a kind note from Mrs Clemens—she will enjoy your glory & prattle of it to Megalopis Susie— What of the Novel? We are all well & dull— I am dodging about from door to door—as usual— Don’t trouble to write, only tell me when you know your time for invading us—& harrying the city— 3 Take care of your self—get 8 hours sleep out of every 24—& keep the Midland Counties regular— / Yrs ever / [MTPO]. Note from source: Clemens had evidently sent Brown two clippings from the 2 December London Morning Post: the complimentary review of his 1 December lecture, and the text of his speech that evening on “The Ladies”.

December 9 Tuesday In the evening, Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO]. Afterward, Sam wrote Livy that he’d “never enjoyed delivering a lecture” more than he had that night.

      And it was such a stylish looking, bright audience. There were people there who gave way entirely & just went on laughing, & I had to stop & wait for them to get through…Those people almost made me laugh myself, tonight. …

      The fog was so thick to-day at noon that the cabs went in a walk, & men went before the omnibuses carrying lanterns. Give that item to Warner. It was the heaviest fog seen in London in 20 years. And you know how the fog invades the houses & makes your eyes smart. To-night, the first thing I said on the stage was, “Ladies & gentlemen, I hear you, & so I know that you are here—& I am here, too, notwithstanding I am not visible.” The audience did look so vague, & dim, & ghostly! The halls seemed full of thick blue smoke [MTL 5: 497]. Note: The term “smog” had not been coined.

Sam wrote a second time to Livy, having forgotten to enclose a note from Dr. John Brown, to whom Sam had sent clippings from the Dec. 2 London Morning Post [MTL 5: 499].

Sam wrote George H. Fitzgibbon that he’d be at the Morayshire dinner. He cawed about the successful talk and notice in the Post.

Few men can tell a story as well as Mr. Twain, who has an inexhaustible stock of “yarns,” and is never tired of spinning them…. There is nothing so broadly comic to be heard in London as “Roughing it on the Silver Frontier,” and Mr. Twain ought to have crowded houses every night, as no doubt he will [MTL 5: 500].

Sam also wrote Henry Lee, who had asked Sam to give a brief joke at a benefit for Edward P. Hingston, past manager of Artemus Ward. Hingston was retiring.

“I like Hingston, & I would do a good many things for him, but I couldn’t do that for my brother—for the reason that a man isn’t justified in telling an uproarious anecdote before an audience until he has led up to it with a lecture with things in it which show he is capable of better things” [MTL 5: 501].

Sam never wanted to be a mere humorist (today we call them stand-up comedians), but a moralist as well, because he felt a mere humorist never won true respectability and position in life.

Livy paid an undated bill of $150 worth of furniture from Deming & Fenn, 205 Main St., Hartford, for purchases ending this date. Also, a bill was paid to Sykes & Newton, Hartford chemists & druggists, for “1 doz scotch ale (Younger’s)” $2.85 [MTP]. Perhaps stocking up for Sam’s return.

George W. Smalley wrote to Sam.

Dear Mark Twain, / We have to thank you for your kindness in sending us tickets, & still more for the delight of hearing you. Mrs. Smalley and I agreed in thinking the lecture capital, both in itself and in the manner of its delivery, which was simply inimitable. I admired your way of leading up to your points, & your great good sense in giving a slow witted English audience time to take them in. That they enjoyed so many of them was a proper tribute to you and some credit to them also, for the average Englishman does not take kindly to the peculiar humour in which you excel. I was sorry to see you so wretchedly noticed in the Daily News,—what a donkey the man must be to be able to spoil things so. / Yours ever / G. W. Smalley

Conway sat beside us & laughed till the bench shook. I thought his conduct most improper / [MTPO]. Note: source gives the negative review from the London Daily News:

Last evening Mr. Mark Twain delivered a new lecture at the Hanover-square Rooms, the title of which was “Roughing it on the Silver Frontier.” When Mr. Twain announced a record of his adventures amidst the savages of the Sandwich Islands, the public got some idea of his whereabouts at least, although they could not anticipate the strange scenes he depicted nor the yet stranger mode of his portraiture. On the present occasion, though more familiar with his peculiar style, the London public have been left entirely in the dark as to the locality to which he intended to introduce them. Considering the attraction that a little mystery has had at all times for the world, it would be unfair, perhaps, to Mr. Twain to find fault with him for shrouding himself in so much darkness as would lead people to the Hanover-square Rooms to ascertain what he meant. If such was his idea the result confirmed his expectation, for the large room was well filled by an audience many of whom were inquiring long before the lecturer’s appearance what was or where was the “Silver Frontier.” Mexico was generally suggested, but Mr. Twain soon informed his hearers that by the “Silver Frontier” he meant a portion of Nevada. He lived in that part of the world for three years. It was inhabited when he was there by editors and thieves, blacklegs and lawyers, carters, miners, gamblers, and characters of that sort. On his journey he assisted at a Mormon marriage, but did not wait to see it all finished. They were very fond of card playing in Nevada. Their game was “Seven up,” and he joined in; but he was sorry he did, for card playing was very sinful unless you won money at it. But though a place for gamblers he would not advise hunters to go there, for they might hunt for a whole year and find nothing. It was a country for desperadoes, and of one of these, named Jack Harris, the lecturer gave an amusing account. This man took refuge in Nevada from the justice of the United States, and lodged with the principal clergyman of the place, for there was no distinction in that country between classes. Harris was known for his expertness with the pistol and bowie-knife, but a change of life came over Harris, and he took to a doubled-barrel gun when he gave up the pistol and bowie-knife. Intermixed with his word-play and jests, Mr. Twain gave some very eloquent descriptions of the country. He began and concluded his lecture last evening amidst loud applause.

December 10 Wednesday Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO]. Sam wrote to Moncure Conway, responding to a letter (see below), congratulating Sam on the “Roughing It” lecture. Sam offered to trade books—The Gilded Age for Conway’s new book on scriptures, which was to be released within a few weeks [MTL 5: 502].

Sam sent a humorous letter to the editor for the London Morning Post that was published the next day. Sam was afraid, he said, of inviting some “great member of the Government to give distinction to my entertainment,” because if the great busy personage got up and left half way through the lecture, it would “seriously embarrass” him. To remedy this, Sam had applied to “a party at the East-end who is in the same line of business as Madame Tussaud” –in other words, a wax museum. Sam wanted to announce that King Henry VIII, William the Conqueror, Moses & Aaron—etc., would be at his lectures on succeeding nights, and that he could not be embarrassed because they would not leave during the lecture. The letter got zanier from there, by a porter falling, the statues falling apart, etc. [MTL 5: 503]. It appeared in the Post on Dec. 12 [Fatout, MT Speaks 85].

Sam also dictated a letter through Charles Stoddard to John L. Toole, who was appearing in a comedy at London’s Gaiety Theatre and was planning an American tour. Evidently, Toole had asked Sam’s help or advice on the tour. Sam suggested he give Toole’s manager, George Loveday, a letter of introduction to Samuel R. Glenn of the New York Herald [MTL 5: 505]. (See Sept. 21, 1872 entry.) Lorch says Sam paid Stoddard “fifteen dollars a week and board and lodging to sit up nights with him and dissipate” [147].

Clemens also dictated a letter to Henry Lee.

My dear Lee: / I wish I could go with you but I am going to be situated that I can’t. I have several engagements right along in the neighborhood of that evening, & they are all that I dare take.

      I am getting so worn & fagged that I have an actual dread of meeting & talking with people that I have to keep up my end of the conversation with.

      You know how it is old fellow. I’ve given the order for the tickets Friday evening & shall be glad to see your face there. / Ys Ever… [MTP].

Sam also accepted a dinner invitation from the Lord Mayor, Andrew Lusk (1810–1909), through his secretary John R. Vine. Sam’s acceptance is not extant but referred to in Vine’s reply of Dec. 11.

Moncure Conway wrote to Sam.

My dear Clemens, /I would have liked much to have wrung your hand on Monday evening for that admirable speech of yours, but having a bonnetless lady along could not manage it. It (the lecture) is even better than the Sandwich one, and that is saying a great deal. Your audience was limited by Sir Sam Baker, who was to be welcomed that night by the Prince, but I have no doubt your lecture will be a favourite with the public—especially as the Baker and Tichborne affairs prevented the papers publishing all your best plums.

—I am under the most terrible persecution from printers and have been ever since your arrival; but my big book will be out this week; the dumb demon will be exorcised; I shall be a freeman. And when free it cannot be long before I get hold of S. L. C.

Meanwhile Mrs. Conway sends her thanks for the very pleasant note she has recd. from Mrs. Clemens; & hopes that after your lecture Monday you will be able to call in at the party given that night close to the Hanover Sq. rooms,—whereof a certain green ticket inviting you to a Club will inform you more particularly It has been sent you. / Ever yours gratefully /M D Conway / [MTPO].

December 11 Thursday Sam’s humorous letter to the London Morning Post was printed [MTL 5: 503]. Sam wrote the preface for the English release of The Gilded Age [MTL 6: 5-6]. In the evening Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO].

Sam wrote from London to Livy of more thick fog and burning gaslight all day. He enclosed a note of thanks from George Smalley for the tickets and his wife’s and Conway’s enjoyment at the lecture [MTL 5: 506]. Sam started another letter to Livy, which he finished the next day [508].

In Hartford a bill was paid to Hartford City Gas Light Co. for $11.69 [MTP].

The earliest copies of The Gilded Age arrived from the bindery [Hirst, “A Note on the Text” Oxford edition, 1996].

John R. Vine, secretary for the Lord Mayor of London, wrote to Sam.

Dear Sir. /The Lord Mayor desires me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday with thanks.

Whilst regretting that the dinner will not be enlivened with your presence, His Lordship sincerely hopes you will not fail to put in an appearance at the finale, when his welcome will be none the less hearty.

Should any other dinner be given here before you leave England, His Lordship will again request the honor of your acceptance of his hospitality & he trusts that timely notice of it will enable you to make arrangements for being present. / I am, / Dear Sir / yours faithfully / Jno. R. S. Vine / Private Secy / [MTPO].

December 12 Friday Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO]. Afterward at the Scotch Morayshire Dinner, London, Sam responded to a toast “The Visitors” (text not available, but MTL 5: 509-10 paraphrases).

Sam finished the letter to Livy at 2 AM and told her of his speech at the Scotch dinner, which he said was “received with prodigious applause—but I thought ‘if Livy were only here, I would enjoy it a thousand times more.’” [MTL 5: 508].

Sam also wrote from the Langham to Mr. Shirley Brooks about a squib Sam had sent to newspapers, one that was taken as an advertisement and not printed [MTL 5: 510].

Sam also dictated through Stoddard to Robert W. Routledge, agreeing to whatever price the publisher wished to sell first a cheaper version of GA in order to boost sales. The purchase price is the publisher’s affair, not the author’s, Sam responded. Bliss had put $3.50 and $5.00 on the book for each type of binding. Routledge was issuing the book in 3 volumes, and had initially set a price of 31s 6d. for each part, or $7.88 for the trio. The suggestion was to lower each volume to 25s 6d.,or $6.38 [MTL 5: 511].

Bliss released the first “library style” bindings of The Gilded Age, though the official publication date in America was Dec. 23 [MTL 5: 463n1].

Robert Routledge wrote from London to Sam, advising, “after careful consideration” to publish GA at 25/6 rather than 31/6, a price adopted by the “late Lord Lytton for his last novel” [MTP].

December 13 Saturday Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO]. He started a letter to Livy, which he finished on Dec. 15.

“Livy darling, I am so tired of lecturing! I enjoy while I am on the stage, because the audience are such elegant looking people & are so heartily responsive (heaps of fine carriages & liveries come,) but I don’t take any interest in life during the day.”

Sam’s lament was the continuing polluted fog, the empty streets, and the routine [MTL 5: 512].

December 14 Sunday Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO]. Sam wrote to Livy, his letter sounding a lot like those from his courting days… “an ocean is between us, now, & I have to gush.” Sam looked forward to having Frank Finlay  as a guest for the week [MTL 5: 518].

Mr. Shirley Brooks replied to the Dec. 12 from Clemens.

My dear Sir, / I feel desirous to do something more helpful to your lecture than perhaps the article would be, and I have therefore written, and inserted in the new number of Punch a strong incitation to the public to make haste & go and see you, & I have put in quotations to attract the eye of the B. P. [British Public] I will send you an early copy tomorrow—it will appear on Wednesday & may do good for the brief time you mention it as your intention to remain. I will also send you my Almanac—Tenniel has done something which I am certain you will admire. / Believe me / very sincerely yours / Shirley Brooks / [MTPO].

December 15 Monday Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO].

Sam finished the Dec. 13 letter to Livy. At the urging of Moncure Conway, he also wrote to Alfred Lord Tennyson sending complimentary tickets [MTL 5: 519].

John Colburne of the Temple Club wrote a short note informing Clemens he’d been “on the nomination of Col. Rowland, unanimously elected an Honorary Member of the Club” [MTPO]. Note: Sam replied Dec. 16.

Lady Mary Northcliffe wrote to thank Sam, somewhat belatedly, for a signed GA with inscription [MTP].

December 16 Tuesday Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO].

Sam dictated a short note through Stoddard to John Colburne, thanking him for his honorary membership in the Temple Club, a new group dedicated to a free and social exchange of ideas on art, literature and science. Tom Hood was a member and Moncure Conway was about to join [MTL 5: 520].

After the lecture Sam wrote to Livy.

Last night a portly lady very richly dressed, sat in the second row & laughed as you never saw any creature laugh before except Rev. Mr. Burton—the tears streamed down her cheeks all the time. Tonight a young English girl sat in the same row, & it seemed to me that she would simply go into convulsions. Bully audiences, these [MTL 5: 521]. Note: Rev. Nathaniel J. Burton was a member of Hartford’s Monday Evening Club.

A bill was paid to L. Daniels for $15.20 for goods (illegible) [MTP].

Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote: “Dear Sir, / I saw some of your countrymen last Sunday, who spoke so highly of your Lectures, that I longed to come & hear you; but whether I come or not I am equally beholden to you for your kindness. / Yours with all thanks / A Tennyson” [MTPO].

December 17 Wednesday Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO].

Sam wrote to James Redpath about his plans to lecture in the “provinces” (Scotland and Ireland) and then to sail for home for a light schedule of lectures in New York and possibly Boston and then retire permanently from the platform—for it is my very last.” Any time in February, Sam wrote. His plans would change [MTL 5: 523].

December 18 Thursday Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO].

December 19 Friday Sam lunched with Mrs. Thomas Owen, a widow, and went to Westminster Abbey to see the monument to Thomas Owen, who built Condover Hall [MTL 5: 521].

In the evening, Sam gave his “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO].

George and Louisa MacDonald wrote from Halloway House, Hastings to Sam in London:

My dear Mr Clemens, / Is there no chance of seeing you down here before you go? Anytime would do for us. Why not eat your Christmas Dinner with us? We are a merry party, & I don’t think you would find it very dull. The shortest notice of your coming, or no notice at all will suffice.

      Tell me, please, when you think of returning: I want to ask you to take out a watch for a friend of mine, if it would not be troublesome to you.

      I long to see the novel—yours and Warner’s: it is not out here yet. If you were living in London, or I in Hartford, I think we could make a good western play together. There are such elements in that book of yours!

      All the best wishes of the season to you from us— / Yours most truly / George MacDonald.

 Punch has frightened [us] as to your going away so soon. I want you to take two bits of crockery for me to the dear Wife. / Yrs truly / Louisa McD [MTPO].

December 20 Saturday Before his lecture, Sam wrote Livy:

“Livy darling, I am about to go to the hall, to deliver my last lecture in London. Presently I shall be free! All this time my health has been simply splendid….I shall see you by Feb. 1! Hurrah!” [MTL 5: 524].

Sam gave his last “Roughing It on the Silver Frontier” lecture at the Queen’s Concert Rooms, London [MTPO]. Afterward, Sam dined at the Smalley’s with Frank Finlay, John Russell Young, formerly of the New York Tribune and others.

At the Langham, Stoddard wrote for Sam to Arthur Pelham:

Dear Sir

I thank you very much for showing me these specimens of schooling in England and I have taken the liberty of copying a few of them in all their original orthography and punctuation.

I return the books to you by post.

Very Truly Yours

Saml. L. Clemens [MTP drop-in letters].

Livy purchased $9.20 of misc. merchandise from Madame Sanborn [MTP].

Punch ran “Twain Can Do’t,” an article with plays on Sam’s name and regrets that his stay in London would be brief; readers were urged to go hear him lecture [Tenney 5].

December 21 Sunday Sam wrote from London to George H. Fitzgibbon:

I wish you had been there—it was a beautiful house; tho’ piling the stage full of people made it pretty hard talking. I made no speech, because I had kept the audience there longer than I ever had before, & as I had a jolly good time with them I didn’t want to run the risk of spoiling the thing.

Besides, I was saving myself for tomorrow evening, when 6 or 8 personal friends of mine are to give me a quiet dinner, & I am to make a bit of a speech [MTL 5: 525].

Sam and Frank Finlay took a walk up Portland Place and to Regent’s Park. Frank met a lady he knew there “giving 3 or 4 of her children an airing.” They walked together for an hour and went to her house for a glass of wine [MTL 5: 530-1]. Later, Sam wrote to Livy about the Smalley’s dinner the night before [MTL 5: 527].

December 22 MondayIn London, Sam wrote twice to Livy. Though the first letter was mentioned in Vol. I, no excerpt was given, and the second, a short note on George MacDonald’s of Dec. 19, was not listed. A recent item for sale on eBay, hitherto unknown, leads to the addition of this entire first letter and a picture of the “dragon” item. Sam to Livy:

Livy my darling, this is Monday. Yesterday I said it had been more than a week since I had heard from you; Stoddard said, no, just a week; but that letters would come today. When I woke this morning & was going to turn over & take another nap, I remembered that there would doubtless be letters. So I got up at once & dressed. There were two, my child—one about Dr Browne’s [sic Brown’s] “Margaret” & the other about Mrs. Cowan & the private theatricals at the ladies club, & all that gossip—which is exactly what I like. I have always contended that Ma was the best letter-writer in the world, because she threw such an atmosphere of her locality & her surroundings into her letters that her reader was transported to her, & by the magic of her pen moved among creatures of living flesh & blood;, talked with them, hoped & feared & suffered with them.

      I’ll look up the Thackeray & Dickens. And as Finlay leaves for Belfast tomorrow he shall take the order for the dragon [see insert, Belleek Dragon teapot], & then I will get it when I lecture there.

      I’ve got 7 razors all in one box, with the days of the week marked on them. That is to give each razor a week’s rest, which is the next best thing to stropping it. Stoddard, Finlay & I are to dine with the Dolby to-night at the Westminster Club & I reckon we’ll have a pretty good time (now here’s that Punch & Judy devil just struck up on his drum over by the church railings—but it is a dark, rainy day & he won’t take a trick.)

Another Tichborne case—no, I mean a case of mistaken identity. Finlay & I started out for a walk yesterday afternoon—met a very young & very handsome [man] within 5 steps of the door, who looked at me as if he knew me, & I looked at him, not expecting to know him, but instantly recognizing the fact that I had seen the face somewhere before.

      Very well. I kept telling Finlay I knew that face—& by & by, when we were well up Portland Place, I said “Now I’ve got it!—it is the young Lord MacDuff pre who presided at a Morayshire Banquet in Regent street the other night.”

      Very good again. Half an hour later, in Regent’s Park we met a lady whom Finlay knew,—she was giving 3 or 4 of her children an airing. We walked with her an hour, then went to her house in Harley street (the “Long, unlovely street” of Tennyson In Memoriam) to drink a glass of wine—sat there half an hour, when in comes that same man we met before the hotel (Finlay nodded to me as much as to say, “Here he is again”) & then, lo & behold you he was introduced to us as The “Lord Arthur Hill,” (and, in a whisper, “heir to the Marquis of Downshire.”) I studied the fellow all over for more than half an hour, & there was no difference between the two men except that the hair of one was wavy & that of the other was not. The Mac Duff is a Scotchman, but this chap is Irish, born close to Belfast & is heir to one of those mighty estates there that Finlay tell told us of, with 40 miles extent & 60,000 population. It was a curious case, all around, considering the exceeding scarcity of lords. / I love you, my child [MTPO]. 


Notes: Sylvester Judd’s Margaret: A Tale of the Real and Ideal, Blight and Bloom (1845) is likely the book Livy wrote Dr. John Brown about locating, her letter not extant (see Gribben 361); Mrs. Sidney J. Cowan, president of the Union for Home Work; The “dragon” Belleek teapot was for sale on eBay in Feb. 2009, Item 150323635050, for $15,000; the insert is a picture of an identical item. See other notes for this letter on MTPO.


Sam’s second note to Livy was one line on the back of George MacDonald’s Dec. 19 invitation: “Just wrote you a moment ago, Livy dear, / Dec. 22 / Saml” [MTL 1: 531]. Note: See Dec. 19 in addenda items for MacDonald’s letter.

Routledge & Sons published The Gilded Age in London.

The New York Herald wasted no time in reviewing GA:

Upon the title page the authors emphatically announce it as “a tale of to-day.” But it is so in none of the senses in which the phrase is appropriately employed….Neither of them has yet given evidence that he could command an interesting plot, the conduct of which would develop lifelike characters. Each of them, however, has expressed his talents in a method eminently pleasing….We admit that something unusual has been produced—something unusually clever, too—only it is not, strictly speaking, a tale…(“American Satire” p.6) [Budd, Reviews 117].

Sam, Frank Finlay and others went to a humorous reading called “Happy Thoughts” by Sir Francis Cowley Burnand (1836-1917) [MTL 5: 532]. Later, Sam gave his dinner speech to a small gathering at the Westminster Club, London [MTL 5: 526 paraphrased].

December 23 TuesdayAmerican Publishing Co. published The Gilded Age in Hartford. Thus, Sam fulfilled English law by both residence and prior publishing on English soil the day before. Sam and Frank Finlay called on George and Ida Finlay and family.

Sam wrote from London to Livy about the night before when everyone had leveled his or her opera glasses at him instead of the speaker Burnand.  Sam went back stage and complimented Burnand on his “wonderfully humorous, witty, bright, tip-top entertainment” [MTL 5: 532].

The Boston Evening Transcript, p.6 under “Literary Matters” reviewed the Gilded Age:

…a volume which shines with no meretricious light but with a genuine and intrinsic radiance. It contains some of the most vivid and natural characterizations of any book recently published in the United States [Budd, Reviews 119].

The Hartford Times found the book to be:

…a very odd piece of architecture…a trifle jerky and jolty…and a certain characteristic of abruptness and unexpectedness in the method of developing the story may mean that two hands did fashion the work…[120].

Dr. John Brown wrote to ask Sam when he was coming to Edinburgh [MTP].


December 24 Wednesday Sam and Stoddard took a train to Salisbury for Christmas. They stayed at the White Hart Hotel near the Salisbury Cathedral and were shown around by William Blackmore (1827-1878), a wealthy solicitor who had traveled in the American West. They had dinner with friends of Blackmore. In the evening Sam sent Livy a cablegram wishing her “Merry Christmas!” [MTL 5: 534-5].

December 25 Thursday Christmas – Sam and Stoddard went to church services in the morning at the Salisbury Cathedral. After lunch they drove to Stonehenge. Before dinner Sam wrote from Salisbury, England to Livy.

Today I attended the grand Christmas service in Salisbury Cathedral, in company with recumbent mail-clad knights who had lain there 650 years. What a fascinating building it is! It is the loveliest pile of stone that can be imagined—think of comparing it with that solemn barn at York. And then we drove by the Old Sarum—all day I was thinking lovingly of my “Angel in the House,”—for Old Sarum & Salisbury naturally recall Coventry Patmore’s books—& then we went to Stonehenge. A wonderful thing is Stonehenge. It is one of he most mysterious & satisfactory ruins I have ever seen [MTL 5: 534]. Note: Patmore’s (1823-1896) two books The Angel in the House (1854-6) were in Sam’s library [Gribben 536].

Sam and Stoddard dined with William Blackmore and friends and enjoyed music afterward.


Mr. Shirley Brooks wrote to Sam.

My dear Sir, / “After compliments”, as the Orientals say, by which in this case I mean no compliments at all, but the heartiest good wishes of the season, I am to say to you, on the part of the partner of my expenses, that we shall assemble some friends here on Wednesday, New Year’s Eve, at 9 o’clock, for frivolous conversation, to be atoned for by serious supper at 11, & so we hope to see in 1874 agreeably. It will much increase the chance of our doing so, if you will give us the pleasure of your company. Will you? / Always yours sincerely / Shirley Brooks [MTPO]. Note: Clemens accepted.

December 26 and 27 Saturday Probably more sightseeing and wining and dining courtesy of Blackmore and friends. No record of specifics.

December 27 SaturdayGeorge MacDonald wrote to Sam.

My dear Clemens, / The best wishes of this good time be yours and all its plentiful hopes.

Since it seems unhappily so doubtful whether you will be able to come and see us, can you tell me where you would be to be found in London any day between the 13th & 16th of January. We shall be up then, and I would bring to you the things you are so kind as [to] offer to take.

Some day perhaps we may write a play together. It would be great fun.

Don’t address me Rev. I’m not reverend. If you do I will return the compliment. / Yours ever, / George MacDonald [MTPO]. Note: Clemens sailed from Liverpool on Jan. 13.


December 28 Sunday Sam felt ill from all the dining over Christmas and went down to Ventnor, a resort on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight [MTL 5: 539n2]. There he “hunted up Miss Florence”—Florence Stark, not further identified, but perhaps a friend of George Fitzgibbon, because Sam mentioned her in his letter of Dec. 30.

“She is a most attractive & very natural & girlish sort of girl. (I hate artificial girls)” [MTL 5: 539].

December 29 Monday – Sam and Stoddard returned to London. Sam wrote from London to Livy. Sam had taken offense to an innocent remark a man had made about his cable-gramming Livy on Christmas Eve being the sort of thing a man did for a sweetheart not a wife. The man apologized and Sam got to write about it. Sam enclosed an invitation from Shirley Brooks for New Year’s Eve and a note of best wishes from George MacDonald, who suggested it would be “great fun” if they wrote a play together [MTL 5: 536].

Sam dictated to Stoddard for Tom Taylor (1817-1880), a great playwright whom Sam sought advice from about putting The Gilded Age on stage. Sam received his first copy of the book from Routledge; editors had received review copies even earlier [MTL 5: 541 to Warner].


December 30 Tuesday Sam wrote from the Langham in London to George Fitzgibbon. Sam’s required business of gaining copyright in England was completed. There was nothing keeping Sam in England. He wrote that he would lecture:

“only 3 more times on British soil, & 3 nights in New York, & then I retire from the platform permanently….if there is a fool in the world, I think I am that person. A sensible man lectures only when butter & bread are scarce” [MTL 5: 539].

Sam also wrote to Charles Dudley Warner. Sam had made three attempts to meet Tom Taylor the playwright. Sam planned to accompany George Dolby, his lecture manager, on New Year’s Day to Taylor’s on the outskirts of London. Sam corrected sailing date: Jan. 13 to Boston, in the Cunard ship Parthia [MTL 5: 541].

December 31 Wednesday – Sam accepted Brooks’ invitation and spent New Year’s Eve until 2:30 AM with the Brookses, the Burrands, the Hardmans, the Jerrolds, the Yateses, and Sir John Tenniel (1820-1914), among others. Note: Sir William Hardman (1828-1890).

From Shirley Brooks’ diary:


Somehow, … I did not fancy we were so jolly as usual, in spite of the fact that Mark Twain proposed the host and hostess in a very funny little speech…. I believe that it was only my fancy that made me think our supper less effective than our other gatherings have been. To bed at 2.30, and all thanks where all should be paid for all the mercies of the year [MTPO]. Note: Mr. Shirley Brooks took ill soon after his diary entry of the next day and died on Feb. 23 [MTL 5: 537n3].

Sam wrote a line to James Redpath with Sam’s sailing date and Sam’s need to see him [MTL 5: 543].

Sam also wrote Livy, probably before the party.

“Thirteen more days in England, & then I sail! If I only do get home safe, & find my darling & the Modoc well, I shall be a grateful soul. And if ever I do have another longing to leave home, even for a week, please dissipate it with a club” [MTL 5: 543].

A handwritten receipt from John Hooker was given this date “for house rent for quarter ending this day” for $300 [MTP].