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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: Harold Bush <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 18:31:17 -0600
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Reply-To: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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Hi Sue, those Edison recording were destroyed in a fire, and as far as is
known, no verified recordings of MT have survived.

I would add that Yale does have one recording, believed to be William
Gillette (I think), who was an impersonator who know Twain personally and
was supposedly quite accurate in his mimicry.  There must be others of him,
which I would liken to someone like Rich Little doing Johnny Carson.  i.e.
pretty accurate.  It is plausible that it is not Gillette, and in fact MT
himself; I remember hearing that from someone in the Beinecke at Yale many
years back.  They just had no way of knowing.  My guess = it is also
plausible that somehwere out there, somehow, a recording of MT may exist,
like that old manuscript of Huck Finn....

I also vaguely recall having a discussion on this LIST long ago, and I'd
love to hear other views.

--Hal B.

On Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 5:42 PM, Harris, Susan Kumin <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Today a colleague asked me if there were any extant recordings of Twain's
> v=
> oice, and I realized that I have a memory of someone talking about an
> Ediso=
> n recording--but also that it may have been destroyed.  Can someone set me
> =
> straight on this?
> Thank you!  --susan harris
Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
Professor of English
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO  63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)