messages up and down the stairs to Father’s study. It always puzzled me how Mark Twain could manage to have an opinion on every incident, accident, invention, or disease in the world. Merely to read the newspapers enough for a shadowy acquaintance with the bigger topics of the day would have been difficult, considering the many social engagements he had daily, but the questions asked him by the newspaper reporters were by no means limited to important affairs [MFMT 120].
William Dean Howells’ article, “The New Historical Romances,” ran in this issue of North American Review, p.935-48. Tenney: “On p. 946, calls MT ‘our greatest romancer’ and praises CY for its true representation of humanity. ‘His historical fiction is as nobly anarchical as most historical fiction is meanly conventional in the presence of all that wrong which calls itself vested right; and the moral law is as active in that fascinating dream world which he has created as it is in this waking world, where sooner or later every man feels its power. I like Mark Twain’s historical fiction above all for this supreme truth, just as I like Tolstoy’s’” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Second Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1978 p. 169]. Note: Howells took a lot of knocks for his support of Tolstoy.
Current Literature (NY) ran an anonymous article, “General Gossip of Authors and Writers,” p. 708-10. Tenney: “…summarizes ‘a tribute in the New York Times’ by Major J.B. Pond, who describes MT’s world lecture tour and praises his personal traits” .
December 1 Saturday – Sam’s notebook: “Dinner 730 Mrs. De Forest / 7 Washington Sq. / Meet Artist Zorn &
wife” [NB 43 TS 30]. Note: source indicates Livy made this entry. Anders Zorn (1860-1920) Swedish painter, sculptor, and printmaker, became internationally famous. His wife, Emma Amalia Zorn (born Lamm; 1860-1942).
In N.Y.C. Sam inscribed a copy of The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Sketches to an unidentified person: “We ought never to do wrong / when people are looking./ Truly Yours / Mark Twain / Dec. 1, 1900” [MTP].
John Y. MacAlister wrote to Sam enclosing statistics of Plasmon sales from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 1900. The Plasmon prospectus would be ready on Monday and they’d get it out in a fortnight. He added a personal note:
Please let me have a line or a cable, if only to let me know that you have not been knuckle-dusted by that cabman. I admire your spirit but tremble for your safety, for you are starting out in this crusade with only two of the qualifications of your friend the Colonel. You have his originality and his pluck, but you forget that he could lift a big conductor under the jaw and put him on the side-walk and I don’t think you could [MTP].
December 2 Sunday – Sam’s notebook: “Dinner—Mrs. Kate Douglas Riggs” [NB 43 TS 30].
December 3 Monday – At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to Augustus T. Gurlitz (1843-1928), New York attorney representing Rudyard Kipling.
I thank you quite immeasurably for the Kipling set, & you must send for the Fenno lot whenever you need it, for I doubt if I get a chance in six months to study the matter….
If you didn’t get Howells to make an affidavit, he must do it. Everybody should help [MTP].
Note: N.Y. publisher R.F. Fenno & Co. issued a pirated edition in 1890 of Kipling’s works, competing with the authorized edition, “Outward Bound” by Scribner’s. Sam here acknowledged receipt of the Scribner’s set for comparison with the pirated version. Sam would testify on Mar. 14, 1901 for the plaintiff in Kipling’s lawsuit; also he would use Gurlitz to bring suit against Chicago publisher Butler Brothers for issuing an unauthorized edition of the “Library of Wit and Humor by Mark Twain.”
Sam also wrote to Laurence Hutton, dictating the letter to an unidentified person.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.