I hope to find you well & prosperous when we arrive about the middle of October [MTP].
September 28 Friday – At Dollis Hill House in London, England Sam wrote to John Y. MacAlister asking him to look at the enclosed (not specified) and to post it if it was all right. Sam was unable to get into London on this day and wrote he might not get in the next day, but would see Mac on Monday [MTP].
Sam also wrote to Frank E. Oldis.
I accept with thanks the privilege you offer me of sending Christmas greetings to San Francisco & the coast. I am not as well acquainted with San Francisco now as I was 32 years ago when I saw it last, but my home feeling for it has suffered no decay, nevertheless. It is a sticking fact that San Francisco has trebled its population & quintupled its other prosperities since I left. It is doubtful if any other man has done as much for the city as that. Yet I ask no monument, I only ask that in the Christmas festivities this service shall not be coldly brushed aside & the credit given to some loud recent person who never did anything for the town. I could have gone earlier, if I had thought. It was suggested [MTP: S.F. Bulletin Dec. 23, 1900]. Note: Oldis is not identified, though the 1920 Census lists a Frank O. Oldis in S.F. as b. 1875. The editor of the Bulletin at this time was Fremont Older (1856-1935).
Sam inscribed his photograph, taken by the firm of H. Walter Barnett, Park Side Hyde Park Corner, London S.W., to M.L. Pinkham, who was Clara’s agent in London; at the top: “Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economise it. / Truly Yours, Mark Twain.” At the bottom of the photograph: “Sept 28 / 1900 / To Mr. Pinkham, with the compliments of S.L. Clemens” [Heritage Auction Lot 34204 sale 6044 ended June 7, 2010; MTP examined].
September 29 Saturday – James B. Pond’s article, “Across the Continent with Mark Twain,” ran in
Saturday Evening Post p.6-7. Tenney: “Chiefly on the trip to the West Coast in 1895, beginning the world tour that would lead to FE; includes excerpts from Pond’s journal, MT letters of 17 September 1897 (from Weggis, Lake Lucerne), 4 April 1899 (from Vienna), and one undated. Illustrated with ten photographs of MT. (Stowe-Day Library)” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Third Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1979 p. 186-7]. Note: Sam had protested vigorously to Pond on Sept. 14 about using any of his letters in Pond’s published writings. Evidently his protest arrived too late.
Academy (London) ran an anonymous article, “Mark’s New Way,” p.258-9. Tenney: “A review of The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg. ‘The new Mark Twain—the Mark Twain of this book in particular—is not a whit less readable than the old, and he is more provocative of thought’” .
The Outlook (London) ran an anonymous article, “Mark Twain’s Aftermath,” p.280. Tenney: “A review of The man that Corrupted Hadleyburg. There are a few good parts, but ‘most of this volume reads like a third-rate imitation of the Mark Twain whom we knew and loved of old” .
Athenaeum (London) ran an anonymous review of The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg p.410. Tenney: “This collection includes some good things, but ‘diffuseness…spoils most of the matter in this book.’ The title story is not mentioned” .
September 30 Sunday – According to Sam’s Sept. 19 to MacAlister, this was the last night the Clemens family spent at Dollis Hill.
October 1 Monday – At Dollis Hill House in London, England Sam wrote to Percy Spalding, with a glowing recommendation for the butler, Robert Barker, and the staff at Dollis Hill.
“…all the family like him and are sorry to part with him; all the family and all the servants—gardener and coachman and their families included—detest the cook; all recommend Barker, except the cook. The cook
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.