Vol 3 Section 0887

Feb. 10, 1903 [Gribben 142].

1903                                                                            825

Paul Tyler wrote to Sam, complimenting him on his recent article on Christian Science in the NAR. The letter suffers bleed-through to the point of being nearly illegible [MTP].

March and after – Alice Jane Chandler Webster (“Jean”) (1876-1916), daughter of the late Charles Luther Webster, and Sam’s great-niece, wrote When Patty Went to College, which was published in Mar. 1903 (see Gribben p. 753). Sam referred to this book in one of the notes slipped into Livy’s sickroom which dates it somewhat. Here is the note:

There, now, my darling, Clara was here a while ago & says I be’aved ’an’some & was a cherub. Praise from Sir Hubert! [ a popular expression]

I wrote that genterman a nice note, smorning—the 30-years’ deaf one who sent me the card I read to you last night.

I read the most of Jean Webster’s book to-day; & the most of what I read greatly pleased me—the workmanship, I mean. It is limpid, bright, sometimes brilliant; it is easy, flowing, effortless, & brimming with girlish spirits; it is light, very light, but so is its subject, therefore its lightness is not a fault; its humor is genuine, & not often overstrained. There are failures in the book, but that happens with all books. Goodnight my love, & forget thou me not. / Y [MTP]. Note: for more on Jean Webster and Sam’s reaction to her book, see Boewe’s MTJ article, “Mark Twain’s View of Three Women Writers” (Sept. 2007) p. 17-23.

Hamilton Wright Mabie’s article, “The Best Known American Humorist,” ran in Ladies’ Home Journal, p.17. Tenney: “Brief item, noting the lasting importance of his works; with photographer of ‘Mark Twain with his Wife and Daughter’” [38].

William Denison McCrackan’s article, “Mrs. Eddy’s Relation to Christian Science,” ran in North American Review, p. 349-64: “In examining Mark Twain’s three articles upon ‘Christian Science’ with the sole object of separating fact from fiction, I believe I can perform a service to the public at large, and earn the kindly appreciation of Mark Twain himself” [Tenney: “A Reference Guide Second Annual Supplement,” American Literary Realism, Autumn 1978 p. 173].

Sam signed “S.L. Clemens, March 1903” on the cover of List of Members of the Mother Church. Christian Science, dated

Sam also signed his copy of Mary Baker Eddy’s Manual of the Mother Church, etc.: “S.L. Clemens / March 1903” [Gribben 211].

March 1 SundayIn Riverdale, N.Y. Sam wrote two notes to Livy, the first is now dated by virtue of the reference to the baby born on Feb. 28 (“yesterday”) [MTP].

Livy darling, Mr. Kingsley brought me up from the station, & said he had a fine son born yesterday, a 9-pounder & named him David Mc Call Kingsley, after the President of his Insurance Co. He asked after you— everybody does. Those kids have not been in to say good-night to me; but I say good night to you, dearheart, & send you loving kisses. Y [MTP]

Note: Darwin Pearl Kingsley (1857-1932), a neighbor and executive for N.Y. Life Insurance Co. Kingsley married the daughter of the firm’s president, Miss Josephine I. McCall; they had three children, the last b. Feb. 28, 1903; Sam referred to the day of birth as “yesterday,” making the above note to Livy Mar. 1. The Genealogical and family history of the state of Vermont, Vol 2 p. 653 (1903) gives the baby’s name as John McCall Kingsley. So, Sam may have gotten the name wrong, just as he was evidently unaware that the mother’s maiden name was McCall.

Sam also wrote a good night note to Livy.

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