Sam’s Postcard # 2: “O, thunder, I’ve already a luncheon, a tea, & a dinner next Tuesday. … I have no free hour this week except Monday (DAYTIME) 26th” [MTP].
According to Sam’s Mar. 24 to MacAlister, he was “down at the House of Commons last night talking Plasmon to the membership” [MTP].
Fatout lists a dinner speech for Mark Twain at the C.F. Moberly Bell Dinner, London [MT Speaking 666].
Note: Fatout gives no particulars but the following NB entry also cites. Bell was editor of the London Times
Sam’s notebook: “C. Moberly Bell, 8. dinner, Editor ‘Times.’” [NB 43 TS 6].
March 24 Saturday – At 30 Wellington Court in London, England Sam wrote to Paul Kester in N.Y.
I should like to see Tom Sawyer staged. If you will agree upon royalties with Mr. Howells I will accept the result. You can arrange the rest of the business with my friend Mr. H.H. Rogers, 26 Broadway. And I wish you would leave with him a copy of the play, if you don’t mind. We have no copies of [plays] “Colonel Sellers” & “Pudd’nhead Wilson,” I believe.
You need not submit the play to my approval—I’d much rather have the public verdict.
Sam gave Kester the green light to make any changes or additions he wished: “My literary vanities are dead, & nothing that I have written is sacred to me.” He enclosed a letter of introduction for Kester to
H.H. Rogers [MTP].
Notes: Paul Kester (1870-1933) was the “young cousin” of William Dean Howells, and a professional playwright. In 1896 Kester had undertaken a dramatization of Howells’ Silas Lapham. A contract dated May 28, 1900 between Sam, Paul Kester, and his brother Vaughan Kester (1869-1911) was drawn for sole rights to dramatize TS if they got it on stage before June 1, 1901. The deadline was not met [MTHL 2: 762n1].
Sam also wrote to John Y. MacAlister, asking for “some quarter-pound packages [of Plasmon] & some Virchow pamphlets for distribution” [MTP]. Note: Dr. Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow of Berlin, author of a report on the nutrient value of Plasmon.
Sam’s notebook: “March 24 it arrived” [NB 42 TS 60]. Note: the $12,500 he had asked H.H. Rogers for on Mar. 11 (sent Mar. 14). Also, in another NB: “The Earl of Portsmouth, 8.15 dinner” [NB 43 TS 6]. Note: Newton Wallop (1856-1917) was the Earl. Wallop was a Liberal English politician, member of the House of Commons until 1891 when he inherited the earldom and was then in the House of Lords. His wife was the only child of a prominent Quaker family.
Fatout lists a dinner speech for Mark Twain at the above Earl of Portsmouth Dinner, London [MT Speaking 666].
March 25 Sunday – At 30 Wellington Court in London, England Sam wrote a short PS to his Mar. 24 to Paul Kester. Livy had advised against Kester seeking William Dean Howells’ help in dramatizing TS. Sam advised Kester to “Try him, anyway, & if he won’t, load the job onto Mr. Rogers; he is used to umpiring for me” [MTP].
Sam then wrote to H.H. Rogers, announcing “Another job for you!” and disclosing Paul Kester’s desire and plans to dramatize TS. He advised a good royalty would be 25% of receipts, though he had taken 20% from Frank Mayo back when for the P&P play. Sam gave Rogers permission to draw the contracts with Kester and sign them for him. “Now I will turn out & look up another job for you. Don’t get discouraged—I am
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.