Vol 3 Section 0596

540                                                                        1901

The Brooklyn Eagle ran an anonymous article, “Mark Twain Is at Last Able to Enjoy a Vacation,” section 2, p. 3. Tenney: “A photograph of ‘The Summer Home of Mark Twain at Saranac Lake, in the Adirondacks’ (which looks much larger than the cottage he called ‘Thage,’ or ‘The Lair’) accompanies a brief article on his spacious summer quarters. ‘Big fireplaces drive away all cold’ (but nights at Saranac are not particularly chilly until later in August). MT’s financial recovery and return from travels abroad are noted, but this article is thin and forced, and the picture seems wrong” [MTJ Bibliographic Issue Number Four 42:1 (Spring 2004) 8].

July 29 MondayIn Saranac Lake, N.Y. Sam replied to Francis H. Skrine in London, who evidently had asked Sam to write a review of his new book, Life of Sir William Wilson Hunter (1901). Skrine’s incoming not extant. Skrine would present Sam with the published book (see Gribben p. 645 and Sam’s reactions in a letter to Skrine on Feb. 7, 1902).

The pleasure is denied me, as the Harpers can fine me $500 if I write anything for use outside their house. But I think I can do something better for you than anything I could do myself. When your book is published a copy will naturally go in advance to Mr. Howells, who reviews for the North American Review, & I will ask him to look out for it & be ready to do it a good turn when it comes along. He is the best authority we have, & I estimate a word from him as being worth a dozen from me.

Clemens also declined an offer to visit in London. He wrote of their pleasant stay in the Adirondacks while the “hot weather has devastated the rest of America,” but not there. “We sleep under blankets. We got out of New York just in time.” He closed by sharing they’d taken the house in Riverdale from Oct. 1 and hoped they’d spend the next summer on Saranac Lake [MTP].

Sam also wrote to George V.W. Duryee, real estate agent in Ampersand, the village near Saranac Lake:

“Enclosed please find the final installment of rent for this very delightful house, which I hope we are not occupying for the last time” [VintageMemorabilia website; auction VC 0827 accessed June 15, 2009].

G.&C. Merriam Co. wrote to Sam:

Your full and logical refutation of the suggested origin of stateroom quite convinces us that it could not be so even if subsequent investigations should prove Mr. Churchill right.

This however is improbable, as we learn that the word stateroom meaning apartment in a ship’s cabin was certainly in use for some years prior to 1828. The transfer of name from ship to steamboat naturally followed. Texas however is still a conundrum [MTP: Word Study (Newark, NJ) Nov. 1933, p.6]. Note: see July 24 from the Merriam Co.

Prof. William Milligan Sloane wrote to Sam and mentioned his illness. “Do thank Mr. Rogers properly for me. Love to you all—especially the one you call Livy” [MTP:Parke-Bernet Galleries catalogs, Apr. 28, 1959, Item 89].

July 30 TuesdayIn Saranac Lake, N.Y. Sam wrote to Elizabeth (Ann Chase) Akers Allen (Elizabeth C. Akers) continuing his discussion of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s guilt in marrying Harriet and then mistreating her till she committed suicide.

I knew Symonds, & I know Morley. The word of either of them is sufficient for me. And so I concede that Shelley’s treatment of Harriet was probably not the sole cause of her suicide, but only 99 one-hundredths of the cause. That “connection” was the immediate cause, let us grant; & as Shelley was the immediate cause of that connection I claim for myself a generous liberality in letting him off on any terms at all, however slight. (And at bottom I don’t—he was guilty of the entire thing.) [MTP]. Note: See also July 17 to Akers. Symons is perhaps John Addington Symonds; John Morley (1838-1923).

SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.