To make “the dear old man” feel at home, the hostess “carelessly” arranged two or three of his books on the table next to where he would sit. Since he had requested that there be no other guests because he was in mourning for “a lost daughter,” she warned her brother Henry (who was paying his weekly call) to pretend that he lived there with her. The event proved entirely successful. Clemens stayed more than an hour, regaling them with tales of ghosts, and dwelling upon the appeal of “the old legends.” Commenting upon the charm of her guest’s manner, Lady Mary further described him as “about 60, very thin & small…with a profusion of fair hair turned nearly white, a refined, keen face & glittering eyes,” and that he spoke slowly and incisively “with a very strong American accent.” And she doubted that his “eagle eye” had missed the carefully placed books [MT and John Bull 197: Baroness Mary Josephine Hardcastle Collier Monkswell, A Victorian Diarist: later extracts from the journals of Mary lady Monkswell ed. by E.C.F. Collier (1946)].
February 1 Monday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote to Chatto & Windus and signed himself “a hard working man.” He had 21 or 22 books of his he wished shipped to India and other places, with names on the fly-leaf and a slip inside each with names and addresses. Would they “send a cuss in a cab to carry them to you for packing & mailing?” [MTP].
Sam “finished” FE (for the first time) on this day [Feb. 2 to Rogers]. He would “finish” it at least twice more.
February 1-3 Wednesday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote a short note to Andrew Chatto, updating addresses for two of the books he asked on Feb. 1 to be picked up for shipping. The recipients were Mrs. Charles Lloyd and Mrs. Charles Clapp, both of Melbourne. Sam also asked for a
copy of P&P [MTP]. Note: Sam visited the Lloyds on Christmas Day, 1895 in Stoningham, near Melbourne. Mrs. Clapp is not identified.
February 2 Tuesday – At 23 Tedworth Square in London, Sam wrote to Horatio David Davies (1842-1912) this year London businessman and politician who became Lord Mayor of London this year. Sam declined to dine on Mar. 2 with the Lord Mayor, “obliged by reason of family affliction to decline”
[MTP]. Note: Sam was still in mourning, or at least avoiding public contact. Davies established Pimms (cocktail) as an international brand name.
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers with plans to expand FE from the 180,000 words he’d completed, to two-volumes of 140,000 each, splitting the volume contents by geography, with the second volume beginning with his trip to India. What did Rogers think? The first volume could be ready “at nearly any time, and the other one by the end of May….” Sam also mentioned a letter (not extant) from Orion reporting
“Puddnhead had a crowded house in Keokuk & was splendidly played to an enthusiastic house, with several curtain-calls after each act” [MTHHR 263-4].
February 3 Wednesday
February 4 Thursday
February 5 Friday – The Hartford Courant ran a short article, “A Letter From Mark Twain,” Keokuk dispatch, p. 6 that refers to a not-extant letter from Sam to brother Orion Clemens:
Orion Clemens, a brother of Mark Twain, received a letter to-day (Tuesday) [Feb. 2] from the noted humorist, who is temporarily sojourning at London, England, written in a most cheerful and encouraging style. The letter, while largely of a personal nature, does not even hint at anything like the desperate straits and deep financial embarrassment mentioned in recent cablegrams from the English capital. On the contrary, Mark Twain wrote hopefully of the future and of his family affairs. The brother here says that Mark has been very much depressed and exceedingly low spirited since the death of a favorite daughter, and his moroseness
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.