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David Sewell <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 22 Jul 1992 02:32:11 EDT
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 NEW YORK (UPI) -- The long separated manuscript of ``Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn'' was reunited Tuesday for the first time since leaving
the possession of author Mark Twain over 100 years ago.
 The missing first half of the handwritten manuscript was put together
with the second half belonging to a Buffalo, N.Y., library, at Sotheby's
auction house at a presentation ceremony attended by two sisters who
have given the first half to the same library.
 Sotheby experts announced the discovery of the first portion in
February 1991 after Mrs. Barbara Testa of Los Angeles, a granddaughter
of James Fraser Gluck, a 19th century Buffalo attorney and collector,
discovered it in a family trunk in her California attic two years ago.
She brought it to the auction house for identification.
 Gluck gave the 685-page second half to the Buffalo and Erie County
Public Library many years ago, according to Testa, who was accompanied
by her sister, Mrs. Pamela Lindholme, a horse breeder of Manassas, Va.
Why the manuscript was separated is a mystery that may never be solved,
said Testa, a children's librarian at Hollywood Library.
 ``The minute I found it in the trunk, I had a sort of feeling about
it,'' she said. ``I checked the first page of it with the first page of
a printed copy of the book, then I checked the handwriting with a copy
of Twain's handwriting at the library.
 ``By that time I was pretty sure it was the Twain manuscript and my
sister and I decided to send it to Sotheby's for authentication by their
 David Redden, director of Sotheby's book and manuscript division,
said reunification of 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn', one of the most
beloved and critically acclaimed novels ever written by an American
author, is ``an extremely exciting event for the public and for Twain
 The manuscript written in ink on note paper is particularly important
to scholars, Redden said, because it varies significantly from the
published text and contains important corrections, deletions and
 Donald Cloudsley, director of the Buffalo library, accepted the
manuscript and said it would be the centerpiece of a special exhibition
room devoted to Samuel Clemens, who used Twain as his nom-de-plume.
 Published in 1884, ``Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'' was written
between 1876 and 1883 and was intended as a sequal to Twain's ``The
Adventures of Tom Saywer,'' to which it is considered superior as a work
of literature.
 Finn, considered Twain's keenest observer of the follies and
hypocrisies of pre-Civil War American frontier society, has always been
considered a white youth who flees the restrictions of ``civilization''
on a Mississippi River raft with an escaped slave named Jim.
 Twain experts are now assessing a recent scholarly suggestion that a
loquacious young black acquaintance who had charmed Twain was the
prototype for Finn. Finn's speech patterns have been likened to the
lingo of young, uneducated blacks of the day as recorded by Twain in an
early unpublished manuscript.