Vol 3 Section 0367
December 23 Saturday
December 24 Sunday
December 25 Monday
December 26 Tuesday – In London, England Sam wrote to H.H. Rogers.
If you approve, won’t you please send the enclosed to Harry Harper & see what comes of it?
In withdrawing these books I am not inventing a precedent, but following one invented by the Harpers. I entered into a detailed agreement with them whereby they were to take my Webster & Co books & add to them the Bliss books from time to time as the old copyrights fell in & restored the books to me. The contract was written out in accord once with the agreement; then after reflection, & consultation with their wonderful lawyer, they blandly withdrew & declined to sign. I am withdrawing now, in my turn [MTHHR 422-3].
Note: Sam wanted the five-year cancellation clause added, the Harpers to have no property in translations or dramatizations of his books; 6 percent should be paid by Harper’s on money due from due date until payment four months later. Source in note 1: “Subsequently he either recognized the hopelessness or the unreasonableness of his demands, or perhaps he took heart on hearing of Col. Harvey’s reorganization of the company; at any rate, after his next note to Miss Harrison, he does not mention it again.”
December 27 Wednesday
December 28 Thursday
December 29 Friday
December 30 Saturday – An anonymous review of IA in Author’s Edition Deluxe ran in Athenaeum (London), p. 897. Tenney:
“The ‘Biographical Criticism’ of MT by Brander Matthews is ‘not very illuminating or judicious,’ but ‘the verdicts on the books separately…are excellent.’ MT’s ‘books of travel are the best known and the worst written in places, yet ‘exhilarating’ in ‘the courage of his independence, his frankness, his irreverence, and (severe critics will not add without reason) his ignorance. He is sans peur, though not, for all his apologist’s protest, sans reproche for things like the Yankee at Arthur’s Court. The stories he tells against himself, the little things an Englishman—always afraid of being ridiculous—never confesses: these are much; his artistry in style and language is a good deal more. Here he has influenced writers on this side a good deal. His claims to philosophy and a place by Molière may wait, but we bow and admire before the romances of Huck Finn, the creator of the Man from Gadsby’s [in TA], the story-teller of the Blue Jays, and plenty of other lessons in point and reticence to our own humourists. To use a golf term, Mark Twain at his best never “presses,” and they so often do. And that spoils the whole business’” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Fourth Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1977 p. 332].
Rogers’ financial statement of this date showed a credit in Clemens’ account of $55,487.33 [1899
Financial file MTP].
December 31 Sunday – Clara and Jean Clemens “danced till 1 o’clock this morning, seeing the Old Year out & the New one in” [Jan. 1 to Hutton].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.