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Kevin Mac Donnell <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 9 Aug 2010 08:36:04 -0500
text/plain (175 lines)
I do have a vague recollection from my readings that he did visit Amherst, 
but you'd have to check Rasmussen's 2v guide, or one of the two Twain-Cable 
books, or the 3v Notebooks, or the Years & Hours of ED 3v edition, or the 
more recent Complete MT Interviews to look for possible dates and events.

ED did get out now and then (to Boston and Philadelphia for example) but she 
rarely bothered to saunter next door when famous people visited her brother 
Austin. I think R W Emerson visited once but she stayed home. She could see 
the nearby graveyard from an upstairs window and gazing on headstones was 
probably more entertaining to her. And when that got dull, there was always 
listening to the clock tic-toc, and the flies buzz.

Mac Donnell Rare Books
9307 Glenlake Drive
Austin TX 78730
Member: ABAA, ILAB
You may browse our books at

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ben Wise" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2010 7:14 PM
Subject: Re: Sam 'n' Em

> Well, one other thought (which may have been considered and dismissed
> without comment in Kevin's answer):
> did Twain make any public appearances in the
> Amherst/Northampton/Springfield area during ED's lifetime, and if so,
> wasn't he famous enough that she would have at least been aware of
> that (attending would have been a more problematic matter, I
> suppose).  Again, this may just reflect my ignorance of Twain's
> touring career, but if there's an easy answer, I'd appreciate it.
> Thanks.
> Ben
> Thanks, Kevin.  I thought it might be a worth while question, but
> didn't expect such a thoroughly researched and thoughtful answer.
> Sounds like it must be the last word on the subject (except for the
> cliff-hanger at the end!)
> Thanks again.
> Ben
>>See Gribben p 193 for evidence that Twain at least knew of her, although 
>>may not have read her works. He knew what her home looked like and Howells
>>quoted one of her poems to Twain in a letter. Twain would not have known 
>>her during her own lifetime through Higginson since he and Higginson did 
>>meet until 1905. He did knew both Wadsworth and Bowles during her 
>>but the circumstances of their encounters don't suggest she would have 
>>a topic of conversation. In 1876 Twain acquired a copy of Higgisnon's
>>ATLANTIC ESSAYS (1871) which included his famous "Letter to a Young
>>Contributor" which had prompted ED to contact him for his opinion of her
>>poetry (there is no mention of ED in this book, of course). Twain did mark
>>up that particular essay (I own Twain's copy). ED claimed to have read 
>>one of Higginson's essays in the Atlantic Monthly and her father was a
>>charter subscriber, so it's fair to assume that she would have continued
>>reading that magazine until her death in 1886, and if that's true than she
>>would have seen Twain's pieces in that magazine published before that date
>>(A True Story, Old Times on the Mississippi, etc). Her library and papers
>>are at Harvard, but I have no idea if it includes any Twain volumes, or 
>>dog-earred copies of Atlantic Monthly. Even if it contains none of Twain's
>>own books, it could easily include volumes that contain Twain 
>>Twain did not own any of her collections of poetry, and so far as I can
>>tell, he owned no poetry anthologies that included her work (there were 
>>few such volumes published between 1878 amd 1910). So, it looks like 
>>gave the full extent of Twain's awareness of her when he published his 
>>on Mark Twain's Library in 1980. The question remains whether she knew
>>Twain's work, and the answer may be on a shelf at Harvard
>>Mac Donnell Rare Books
>>9307 Glenlake Drive
>>Austin TX 78730
>>Member: ABAA, ILAB
>>You may browse our books at
>>----- Original Message -----
>>From: "Ben Wise" <[log in to unmask]>
>>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2010 12:10 PM
>>Subject: Sam 'n' Em
>>>  Now that the suspense is finally over, a related question occurs to
>>>  me: what do we know about what they might have known of each other?
>>>  Did either of them ever mention the other, or have the other
>>>  mentioned to them personally by someone else, or own any of their
>>>  books?
>>>  From a curious but non-scholarly fan of both.
>>>  Ben
>>>>We have a winner! They sent their answers to me privately and I've asked 
>>>>permission to post their reply to the list. Otherwise I'll post their =
>>>>answers without attribution. That was fast --less time than it took me =
>>>>to kill and poetize that fly.
>>>>In the meantime, I still have extra copies of all three prize books, so 
>>>>I'll extend the offer of a  prize to the second person to identify all =
>>>>three mutual friends of Twain and Emily Dickinson. Please post your =
>>>>answers to the list.=20
>>>>Mac Donnell Rare Books
>>>>9307 Glenlake Drive
>>>>Austin TX 78730
>>>>Member: ABAA, ILAB
>>>>You may browse our books at=20
>>  >
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> -- 
> .................................................................................................................................................
> Benjamin N. Wise, Ph.D. Home Phone: 603-256-8350
> Professor Emeritus Fax: 603-358-2897
> Keene State College [log in to unmask]
> Keene, NH 03435-2001


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