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Harold Bush <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:02:04 -0600
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folks, deep into the Christmas tales of Dickens this week and next; thought
I'd treat myself to another look and see how the students like (or dislike)
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 you
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 much
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 he
does not enunciate his words sharply and distinctly -- he does not cut the
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:;  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 a
"white" woman?  I don't really get the reason for emphasizing that -- as if
he would be with an African American?  or am I just missing something with

Anyway;  if anyone has something to say about MT and Christmas, or CD, I'm

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)