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Jerry Vorpahl <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 3 Sep 2010 20:59:52 +0000
text/plain (76 lines)
I doubt there was such a thing as alcohol "abuse" or "addiction" in Twain's time. There was drunk and there was sober. These nonjudgmental euphemisms (along with "affliction, problem, dependence, et al) came with our PC society. Did Huck's Pa have an addiction to alcohol? 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Terry Ballard" <[log in to unmask]> 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Friday, September 3, 2010 12:43:03 PM 
Subject: Re: Twain and alcohol 

You might want to check out Mark Twain: Man in white by Michael Sheldon, 
which details the last four years of Twain's life. There are several 
stories about binge drinking late at night - once at his apartment on 
5th Ave and once at Stormfield. In both cases, Isabel Lyon had to get 
him moved to bed. The book is highly recommended: 

Terry Ballard 
Assistant Director of Technical Services for Library Systems 
New York Law School, Mendik Library 
185 W. Broadway 
New York, NY, 10013 
Telephone: 212-431-2106 

"Things always seem darkest just before the bottom drops out." Arthur 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Mark Twain Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gregg 
Sent: Friday, September 03, 2010 2:48 PM 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: Twain and alcohol 

On Christmas eve, 1863, in Virginia City, Clemens and Charles Farrar 
Browne (aka Artemus Ward) got so drunk that they ran across the rooftops 
(Letters 1: pp269-70, n 5). In San Francisco, he and his roomate, Steve 
Gillis, would drink beer and then chuck the bottles on the roofs of the 
houses below (Letters 1, 15 July 1864, to William Wright, pp 303-304). 
I'm not sure if these are examples of abusing alcohol or of abusing the 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Chet Manchester <[log in to unmask]> 
Date: Friday, September 3, 2010 10:59 am 
Subject: Twain and alcohol 
To: [log in to unmask] 

> Does anyone on the forum know if Sam Clemens ever abused alcohol, 
> toward the end of his life? Did he turn to the bottle to ease his=20 
> pain or 
> grief? When he lectured, was he ever known to appear on stage drunk? 

> Did 
> he ever use alcohol to calm his nerves before a public performance? =20 
> Lastly, 
> is there any possibility that he successfully hid an alcohol=20 
> addiction from 
> his family and others? 
> =20 
> Thanks for any insights and sources you can offer on this subject. 
> =20 
> - C.H. Stewart 
> =20