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"Kevin. Mac Donnell" <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 9 Nov 2007 13:02:56 -0600
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There's no THE in the ms or first edition, nor in the 1891 Webster printing
(the last from first edition plates) or the 1892 Webster printing (the first
resetting of the text).

But THE shows up in the 1896 New Library Edition by Harper Brothers, and it
hangs around for the 1899 collected edition and is still present in the
Harper re-issue of the Hillcrest edition in 1906. I have proofs and the
publisher's retained copyright filing papers for many volumes in the 1899
and later editons, but none for HF, so I can't say if the change was
authorial, but I'm doubtful.

I have not checked the Library Edition reprints printed between 1905 and
1910, or the National Edition. Too busy today.

The consensus has always been to leave THE out, but if Twain himself
objected at any time between 1896 and his last gasp in 1910, I've seen no
record of it. I'm not sure he ever even noticed.

I'd vote to leave it out. Would you say THE MOBY DICK, or THE HAMLET, or THE

Kevin Mac Donnell
Austin TX 78730