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```To LH and anyone else interested in the history of international finance:

So in a letter from "Tramp Abroad" illustrator Walter Frances Brown (in Paris) to Samuel Clemens (in London) dated 24 July 1879, Brown supplies Clemens a "receipted account" for services rendered and paid. In this account francs, dollars, and pounds are tallied and converted.

A balance of 28.90 francs equals \$5.78, and 220 francs equals \$44. This shows a conversion of 5 francs to \$1.

The shocking figure (to me) is his grand total of \$463.78, which Clemens pays off with 92.16 pounds. Today, we complain that a pound is a couple bucks US, back then a buck got you 0.1987 pounds, or it took \$5.03 for one pound (and therefore roughly 25 francs to one pound--not that that is important here).

Anyway, if my math is correct, and we acknowledge Hank Morgan's sermon on the regional affect on purchasing power, and about what--24 years difference for inflation? Villa di Quarto was priced at 20,000 francs, or \$4,000 give or take in 1879 currency.

Thanks go to Berkeley for the letter and Elmira's En Route symposium for making me have to figure that out in the first place.

Bring me back some gelato.
Alex

________________________________________
Sent: Sunday, October 17, 2010 3:34 AM
Subject: Re: Autobiography of Mark Twain on CBS Sunday Morning

Kevin--

There is a park that surrounds Villa Petraia, and that's adjacent to the Vi=
lla di Quarto, next property to the west.  When you stand looking at the ga=
te where the priory is, the Petraia park is right behind you, and there's a=
gate and path into it; but alas locked.  =20

Did you go to Villa Petraia?  It was pretty amazing, both building and gard=
ens.  Right now they're giving tours (ingresso libero).  It was a Medici vi=
lla, but became Vittorio Emmanuel's home upon unification in 1861; he prefe=
rred it to living in the city at either Palazzo Vecchio or Palazzo Pitti.  =
This gives a sense of the kind of neighborhood SLC was in. =20

The year-lease he took on Villa di Quarto was priced at 20,000 francs.  I h=
ave no idea how to convert that to US dollars at the time.  If anyone can h=
elp with that it would provide some insight.  It certainly appears that in =
03 their arrival was a celebrated event--post the Following Equator tour an=
d book.=20

--LH
________________________________________
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2010 3:56 PM
Subject: Re: Autobiography of Mark Twain on CBS Sunday Morning

Yes, the villa is further from the road than the priory which is close to
the gate. The loggia that was there during Twain's time was more like a
trellis, but I understand that the villa was later "restored" and the loggi=
a
altered. There is no trellis now (not that I could eee anyway), but there
are some archways that look like an original loggia --but those could just
be windows. I could only see it from a distance from a road that runs more
or less parallel with Via di Quarto. The best way to see it would be to ren=
t
a car, park it, and stand on the roof. Stilts maybe. It was originally
surrounded by a "park" with pathways, and Jean took quite a few photos in
the "park" but from what I could see from several different spots, very
little of the "park" remains --at least the grounds do not look like they d=
o
in her photos. You might view it using google earth to get your bearings
before you go out again. I know we'd all like to see any photos you make if
you manage to talk your way onto the grounds. Although my Italian was
becoming very nearly conversational by the time we got to Florence I did no=
t
think I had the ability to get past the gates if I pressed the buzzer and
tried to explain myself, although I'm sure I could have attracted the
polizia.

Kevin
@
Mac Donnell Rare Books
9307 Glenlake Drive
Austin TX 78730
512-345-4139
Member: ABAA, ILAB
*************************
You may browse our books at
www.macdonnellrarebooks.com

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2010 1:21 PM
Subject: Re: Autobiography of Mark Twain on CBS Sunday Morning

> Kevin--
> What a coincidence: I'm in Florence now, have been since Sept. 1. =3DA0On
> Fri=3D
> day I went to Villa di Quarto but, like you, couldn't get in. =3DA0I also
> wal=3D
> ked around it, but didn't see the loggia that you mentioned. =3DA0I belie=
ve
> t=3D
> hat the building you have in mind might be the priory that is adjacent to
> t=3D
> he western gate. =3DA0My understanding, based on some photos from '03, is
> tha=3D
> t the villa is actually in the middle of the property, though perhaps I'm
> w=3D
> rong. =3DA0
> I have made a little outreach to one of the companies that rents office
> spa=3D
> ce there--got their name off the doorbell nameplates--asking if I can com=
e
> =3D
> by for a tour. =3DA0We'll see if they respond to my email. =3DA0
> I visited Villa Viviani last Monday and was charmed by the staff. =3DA0Th=
is
> i=3D
> s a site for rent--functions like weddings and conferences (now there's a=
n
> =3D
> idea; although they don't do lodging). =3DA0They took me through the room=
s
> th=3D
> at the Clemenses occupied, and I toured the grounds. =3DA0I'll be posting
> tho=3D
> se pictures on a photo-sharing service later. =3DA0I'll post the URL when
> the=3D
> y're up. =3DA0Hopefully, I'll have some photos from inside the walls at
> Villa=3D
> di Quarto as well.=3DA0
> Best,=3DA0
> --Larry=3DA0
>
> wrot=3D
> e:
>
> Subject: Re: Autobiography of Mark Twain on CBS Sunday Morning
> Date: Saturday, October 16, 2010, 12:35 PM
>
> I've made this point many times and it always falls on deaf ears. I think
> I=3D
> =3D20
> even mentioned it in an article somehwere. It's so good a quote, the=3D20
> temptation to credit it to Hemingway trumps common sense. What's worse,
> if=3D
> =3D20
> you read all of THE GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA you'd be a lot less impressed
> by=3D
> =3D20
> the fellow who actually says it. If anyone wants to debate this point,=3D=
20
> forget it; we can just put on boxing gloves, get liquored up, and duke it=
=3D
> =3D20
> out Hemingway style.
>
> BTW, I've been in Italy for the last three weeks and while in Florence
> I=3D20
> found the Villa di Quarto (there is a LOT to see in Florence and this was
> a=3D
> =3D20
> low priority). It requires a long bus ride out of the city center (and
> two=3D
> =3D20
> bus rides to get back) and then a 15 minute walk (we walked 85 miles
> during=3D
> =3D20
> our trip so the walk was trivial). When you get there you will find it=3D=
20
> surrounded by high stone walls that preclude any good views, and the
> street=3D
> s=3D20
> are narrow so you must watch out for Smart Cars with dumb drivers. We
> walke=3D
> d=3D20
> the entire perimeter and stole a few glimpses. The basic structure is
> intac=3D
> t=3D20
> but the loggia has been changed, the stables look enlarged, and the
> grounds=3D
> =3D20
> look rather different. It's privately owned so we didn't ring the buzzer.
> I=3D
> =3D20
> have Jean's Italian photo album with many photos of the villa and
> grounds,=3D
> =3D20
> including a rare interior image. When I find the time (and while memory
> is=3D
> =3D20
> fresh) I plan to review her album to see if anything looks familiar
> (her=3D20
> images of Florence, like the Ponte Vecchio, are quite familiar). When
> we=3D20
> first got there we wasted ten minutes trying to get a good view of the
> vill=3D
> a=3D20
> across the street, mistakenly thinking it was THE villa. The villas in
> that=3D
> =3D20
> area all look very similar; if you've seen one big pale yellow
> rectangular=3D
> =3D20
> Italian villa you've seen them all. My guess is that Villa di Quarto is a=
=3D
> =3D20
> good one hour walk from the city center. That side of the city is largely=
=3D
> =3D20
> industrialized or else filled with large apartment buildings now, so it=
=3D20
> would not be a very pleasant walk, which is why we hopped on a bus.
> There's=3D
> =3D20
> a good modern image of Villa di Quarto on Wikipedia that you can google.
>
> Kevin
> @
> Mac Donnell Rare Books
> 9307 Glenlake Drive
> Austin TX 78730
> 512-345-4139
> Member: ABAA, ILAB
> *************************
> You may browse our books at
> www.macdonnellrarebooks.com
>
> ----- Original Message -----=3D20
> Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2010 8:49 AM
> Subject: Re: Autobiography of Mark Twain on CBS Sunday Morning
>
>
>> you know what always irritates me just a little?=3DA0 It's when someone
>> say=3D
> s=3D20
>> th=3D3D
>> e
>> following:
>>
>>>
>>> He's been called the greatest American writer of all time. His=3D20
>>> bestsellin=3D3D
>> g
>>> novel, "The [sic] Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" =3D3D97 the book, Ern=
est
>>> Hemingway wrote, from which "all American literature comes"
>>>
>>>
>> Now, perhaps I'm splitting hairs here.=3DA0 But Hemingway never said thi=
s.=3D
> =3DA0 A
>> character in one of his stories said it.=3DA0 Which means, it's like
>> saying=3D
> =3D20
>> Poe
>> once said that "I looked for the opportunity to dismember him" (Tell-tal=
e
>> Heart).
>>
>> Is it just me here?=3DA0 I beg you, members of the guild -- please help =
me
>> =3D
> to
>> overcome my own rather severe weaknesses on this extremely trivial
>> matter...=3DA0 best, -hb
>>
>>
>> --=3D3D20
>> Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
>> Professor of English
>> Saint Louis University
>> St. Louis, MO=3DA0 63108
>> 314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)
>> <www.slu.edu/x23809.xml>
>>
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
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> -----
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>
>
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