faith in book sales unless by the subscription method, but he thought he’d find out by the sales they’d make on JA after Rogers received their half-yearly statement [MTHHR 260].
January 16 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “New cook has come—Jan. 16. First snow. About ½ inch” [NB 41 TS 4].
January 17 Sunday
January 17-21 Thursday – Sam’s notebook:
Where the English beat us, is in fun in the Church (“elections” of Bishops & clerical rows in the graveyard) cant; charity in work & cash; unconscious arrogance; (my neighbor) adultery in high places; incompetent cooks.
If we count all the personages & persons in the piece, including the salaried utterers of the Official Prayer of Invitation to the Polls—there are not fewer than 20,000 people employed in producing this colossal Comedy. But I must not talk like this, or some will charge me with blasphemy. Blasphemy is restricted to the clergy.
I am not more reverent than others; yet it makes me shudder to even set down the simple cold facts of this strange performance [NB 41 TS 4-5]. Note: Sam would attempt collaboration with Siegmund Schlesinger during the 1898-99 period; this play is not specified..
January 18 Monday – J. Woulfe Flanagan, London Times reporter, wrote on mourning stationery to complain about Clara’s piano playing. The piano was on the common wall between the flats in Clara’s upstairs bedroom. “It is my misfortune never to get to bed before 4 a.m. as I work on a morning paper….Will you
think me very rude & unneighborly if I ask you as a great favour not to play the piano in the mornings?” [MTP].
Note: See Sam’s Jan. 19 reply. Fred Kaplan identifies Flanagan as a London Times journalist, “whose bedroom was on the other side of the wall,” and that “Six months of exchanges with this unhappy neighbor became both an irritant and an amusement. And Clara played on” [545-6]. See also Sam’s notebook entry of May 24, when he took another of Flanagan’s letters to Richard Edgcumbe and then to Chatto & Windus for their opinion of his best response. Flanagan’s initial letter seems quite polite, yet Sam took umbrage.
January 19 Tuesday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote to Frank E. Bliss about application for renewal of copyright on IA, which was expiring. He referred to Bliss’ Nov. 16, 1896 letter that the copyright would “not be legally ripe before Jan. 29, 1897.” Since that date was not far off, would Bliss please send the enclosed application to Ainsworth R. Spofford, Library of Congress, together with the appropriate fee? Also the required advertisement of renewal would have to be made; Sam gave Bliss his permission to sign it for him as he would not be back in America before then. Ownership of the book should be retained by Livy; if a “formal transfer” to her needed to be made, H.H. Rogers had the former transfer-papers; if a new set had to be drawn up would Bliss please send it for him to sign, and let him know if it should be executed in front of a “Consul or other officer.”
Also, Sam assumed that FE should be the size of RI, about 550 pages and some 180,000 words. He had 130,000 written and could finish by Mar. 1, but expected to write more “so that I can scratch out as much as I want to” in editing [MTP]. Note: Mar. 5 to Rogers and Mar. 19 to Bliss suggest he held this letter until after Bliss signed the contract; or, he may have simply repeated his request for renewal as MTHHR 268n1 asserts.
Sam then wrote to H.H. Rogers:
“As soon as I hear that Bliss & Harper have executed their end of the contracts I’ll write Bliss and send through him an application for renewal of Innocents Abroad. I have already written the letter.”
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.