He invested a lesser sum in shares of the Booklover’s Library, which was going to revolutionize the reading world, and which at least paid a few dividends. Even the old Tennessee land will-o’-the-wisp— long since repudiated and forgotten—when it appeared again in the form of a possible equity in some overlooked fragment, kindled a gentle interest, and was added to his list of ventures [MTB 1151-2]. Note: the investment in the American Cashier Co. through Charles Fairchild began in 1901; see Dec. 26, 30, 1901 entries.
S.G. Bayne inscribed a copy of his book, On a Jaunting-Car through Donegal and Connemara (NY; 1902) to Mark Twain “with the compliments of a new recruit in the hope that some day he may visit Ireland…”; Sam signed “S.L. Clemens, 1902” inside the cover [MTP].
January – Sam inscribed a copy of Songs of Nature (1901) by John Burroughs (1837-1921): “S.L. Clemens,
Riverdale, Jan. 1902” [Gribben 117]. Note: Burroughs was a naturalist and essayist important to the movement of conservation in the U.S. His books were enormously popular in his day. He was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1905.
Sam inscribed on the front free endpaper of vol. I of Rene Vallery-Radot’s (1853-1933) 1902 The Life of Pasteur: “SL. Clemens / Riverdale-on-Hudson / Jan. 1902. / From [Auguste] Jaccaci / of McClure’s / Admirably written—this book. / And ably translated, too.” On the front pastedown he wrote: “SL. Clemens / Among Biographies this one is surely entitled to rank as the Taj Mahal ranks among marble memorials” [Gribben 721].
The first of two segments of Sam’s story, “The Double- Barrelled Detective Story” ran in Harper’s Monthly. It was collected in The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories (1903).
January–March – Henry Wise wrote asking for copies of RI and FE with autograph. “I take your works to cure the blues or as an antidote to the writings of Herbert Spencer. There is $10. in it.” Sam answered by forwarding the letter to Frank Bliss: “Dear Bliss: This duffer has been trying to make a pedler of my books— without my consent. Take him off my hands; I’m tired of him” [MTP].
Sam also wrote to an unidentified person: “Your guess was right. Hannibal was the place—& the cave three miles below” [MTP]. Note: in his 21 June 1902, Henry Wise reported having rec’d this answer but it did not fit his request for books! Evidently, Sam mixed up his mail replies.
January 1 Wednesday – Sam went to N.Y.C. and stopped at the Rogers’ home. He “found only one little chappy on deck,” and wrote the following day to wish the family Happy New Year [Jan. 2 to Rogers].
At 11 a.m. Sam went to Carnegie Hall where he heard Ernest Seton-Thompson (1860-1946) (Scottish born Ernest Evan Thompson; sometimes seen as Ernest Thompson Seton) noted author and wildlife artist, give a lecture, “Wild Animals I Have Known,” also the title of his book. There he met Sir Robert Stawell Ball (1840-1913), Irish, at this time Astronomer Royal of Cambridge University, England. Ball writes:
Major Pond sent me six tickets for a private box, with the intimation that the next box was to be occupied by Mark Twain! I sent five of the tickets on to the Goodbodys, and some of them turned up. I was duly introduced to Mark Twain. He is a most striking-looking man, and we had a nice little talk. I told him how fond we were of ‘Mr. Bixby’. There was a large attendance at the lecture, mostly children
[Reminiscences of Sir Robert Ball (1915) p.348].
Marie Van Vorst wrote “Two Roundels” (poems) to Sam, “with the reverence and love of his guest / New Year’s Day. / 1902” [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.