I think the "white woman" thing was just Twain's way of making a joke.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ben Wise" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 7:22 PM
Subject: Re: MT & Dickens (& Christmas)
>I figure "white" just goes along with "highly respectable" in the
> al rhetorical litany of attributes accorded a woman one is proud to have
> in o=
> ne's company, at that declarative time But...who WAS that white woman?
> On Nov 30, 2011, at 6:02 PM, Harold Bush <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> folks, deep into the Christmas tales of Dickens this week and next;
>> I'd treat myself to another look and see how the students like (or
>> Here's just a few rambling questions, in case any of you are in a holiday
>> mood and feel like chatting:
>> I wonder how MT thought of Dickens as a novelist? I don't have a copy of
>> Alan's book handy (sure wish the new edition of MT'sL would appear, are
>> listening Prof. Gribben?).
>> I wonder what he might have thought of those old Christmas tales -- and
>> also, when or if MT ever really wrote much about Christmas, or used it
>> as a setting?
>> I also was interested in this little review MT wrote of his visit to hear
>> CD read, in NYC, 1868:
>> "He read David Copperfield. He is a bad reader, in one sense -- because
>> does not enunciate his words sharply and distinctly -- he does not cut
>> syllables cleanly, and therefore many and many of them fell dead before
>> they reached our part of the house. [I say "our" because I am proud to
>> observe that there was a beautiful young lady with me -- a highly
>> respectable young white woman.]"
>> (from a nice website: charlesdickenspage.com/twain_on_dickens.html; is
>> this published in a recent edition somewhere? not really sure about that
>> . . .)
>> For most of the 60s, evidently, CD read those Christmas tales in public
>> readings. But the thing that really caught my eye: why did he call her
>> "white" woman? I don't really get the reason for emphasizing that -- as
>> he would be with an African American? or am I just missing something
>> Anyway; if anyone has something to say about MT and Christmas, or CD,
>> thanks, --Hal B.
>> Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
>> Professor of English
>> Saint Louis University
>> St. Louis, MO 63108
>> 314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)