June 4 Saturday –
June – The Critic for June, p.518-24 ran an illustrated (six photographs) article, “Mark Twain from an Italian Point of View” by Raffaele Simboli, correspondent for the Nuova Antologia. See Nov. 6, 1903 entry for excerpt. Included in the pictures was one of Jean Clemens on her white Italian saddle- horse (see insert), a gift from Livy, which would die in an August trolley accident in Lee, Mass. Also in this issue was Mark Twain’s “Letter to an Italian Editor,” p. 484-5 in Jeannette Gilder’s column, “The Lounger”:
“I shall be glad to receive that copy of the Antologia and I thank you. I shall try to read it—and fail, as I can’t read anything higher up than newspaper Italian. I have neglected the living languages and shall not learn the dead ones until I am dead and need them.”
The June issue of Atlantic Monthly mentioned on p. 823 that Mark
Twain and actor Joe Jefferson were invited as guests of the Bodleian
Club, a men’s club for book lovers [Wells 26].
The June issue of The Phrenological Journal contained “Mark Twain on Medicine,” p. 189-90. The article was a discovery by Clemens that
lying on his left side at night relieved his heartburn. Sam related being in London and having “One doctor, a very famous one, no less than Sir William Thompson, said he remembered hearing of it fifty years ago when his own heartburn was cured that way by an old man in Germany…”
June 1 Wednesday – Sam’s notebook: “Commendatore Biagi with vice Chancellor—afternoon. Father Stiattesi has suppressed his fancy cocks & hens because they disturb Mrs. Clemens. He is the best man I know” [NB 47 TS 11].
June 2 Thursday – Maria Fleischel, an admirer wrote from Spezia, Italy to Sam for his autograph [MTP].
June 3 Friday – On this day or the next at the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence Sam wrote to William Dana Orcutt and Mary T. Orcutt. “They are superb—the most extraordinary flowers I have ever seen—& Mrs. Clemens sends her very best thanks for them & for your kind remembrance: & in this the rest of us join, with best wishes for you both & a cordial Alf wiedersehen!” [MTP: William D. Orcutt, In Quest of the Perfect Book 1926,
p.172]. Note: William Dana Orcutt (1870- 1953), literary critic, bookmaker/designer and author, visited Mark Twain in Florence shortly before this note. See Gribben 520.
A. Moreton Mandeville for London Opinion wrote to Sam, seeking a contribution for his publication and mentioning Dr. Heinrich Felbermann, editor of the English Mail (Frankfort-on-Main) as a mutual friend. Sam directed Lyon on the env. “Can write for Harper only / Tell him so. / SLC” [MTP]. Note: London Opinion started as a men’s weekly. The first issue was published by Mandeville and cost 1d for eight pages. There was no advertising. The magazine was last printed in 1954.
Sam’s notebook: “I have secured an option on 2 villas: one at 115000 francs, the other at
150,000—cash. But both to be submitted to Livy for her decision” [NB 47 TS 11]. Note: see also Hill p.84.
June 5 Sunday – At the Villa Reale di Quarto near Florence, Olivia Louise (Livy) Clemens died of heart failure at “a little past 9” in the evening. She was 58 years old [June 6 to Aldrich, Howells]. Paine gives a detailed account of the hours before Livy’s death (other reminiscences vary slightly in detail):
It was on Sunday, the 5th of June, that the end came. Clemens and Jean had driven out to make some calls, and had stopped at a villa, which promised to fulfil most of the requirements. They came home full
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.