It has been wafted to me twice, but I have never mentioned it to any friend but you—so my family knew nothing about it.
We shall leave London the end of this month…and shall fool around till about Sept 1, then go to Vienna for the fall and winter, so that Clara can continue her piano lessons. I have finished my book—and just in time, too, for by reports I am now dead. Posthumous works always sell better than others.
Sam ended with a note that his publisher had arrived for a talk [MTP].
Note: Frank E. Bliss , arrived in London about May 30. Since Sam wrote Rogers (below) about discussions with Bliss, it is likely the reference is to him, not Andrew Chatto, his English publisher. On June 16 Sam would write Rogers that he’d given half the MS to the new book to Bliss, who was reported by the July 10 NY Times to have arrived back in Hartford “a week ago,” or July 3.
Sam also wrote to H.H. Rogers.
Your order to secure from Bliss the de luxe privilege was mighty definite, & I resolved to carry it out or bankrupt my ingenuities trying.
You know Bliss, therefore you know that I would have an entertaining time, for he is the most indefinite man that ever was. He is intangible. He is a gas, & nothing but a pressure of 250,000 atmospheres can solidify him.
If he had come equipped with full powers to act, I think I could have solidified him—I feel quite sure I could. But he could sign nothing without discussing it with his people. However, I think I am safe in forecasting that after a discussion with his people & a small talk with you, he will sign.
The issue was over a deluxe set of from 15 to 20 volumes of Sam’s books; Sam wanted to make the books himself through Theodore Low De Vinne of the Century Co. In order to convince Bliss to allow this, Sam offered Bliss the idea of a book to be sold in Japan, say TS or CY and illustrated by the same Japanese artist of a 40-page book he’d just received. Sam related the arguments he’d made with Bliss earlier in the day.
Sam enclosed the following proposition with the American Publishing Co. for Rogers to consider:
For and in consideration of certain conditions hereinafter set forth, the American Publishing Co. of Hartford, Conn., hereby agrees that S.L. Clemens shall have the sole right to issue an edition de luxe of his complete works, said American Publishing Co. to receive no part to the profit therefrom.
The conditions above referred to are these: Mrs. Olivia L. Clemens agrees that the American Publishing Co. shall have the sole right to make one of said Clemens’s present books in Japan according to a plan already devised by said Clemens and sell the same in America, said Mrs. O.L. Clemens to receive the same share of the accruing profits as she now receives under her present contract with said American Publishing Co., except that the first $3,000 which shall accrue to her on said Japanese book shall go to the American Publishing Co. instead [MTHHR 277-82].
Note: in 1906 De Vinne would print a private edition of Sam’s What Is Man? See also June 13 and 14 to MacAlister, and June 16 to Rogers, concerning Bliss and the ongoing negotiations with Clemens. ,
Sam met James R. Clemens at the Adelphi Theatre and took in William H. Gillette’s play, Secret Service. See June 2.
Harriet Josephine Gerhardt (Mrs. Karl Gerhardt) (1863-1897; “Hattie” or “Josie”)died in Bloomfield, Conn. See entries Vol. I.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.