Kevin Mac Donnell historical insights into the different versions of FTE are
fascinating (see below).
Has anyone seen the FTE manuscript held in the Berg Collection of the New
York Public Library? Manuscript is such a broad term. What sort of document
are we talking about here? Is it Twain's first/last draft, a corrected first
draft, a printer's proof. Is it typed, hand written, etc.
A few months back, I made some enquiries about obtaining copies of specific
sections of the New York MS but I was told I needed to specify page numbers
of the original manuscript (as opposed to page numbers in the published
book) before copies could be made. This is clearly impossible without
viewing the manuscript.
I was also informed that "because this material is bound, it may not be
photocopied for conservation reasons. Only a digital photograph of each page
must be made." It all started to sound very awkward from this distance.
Which is a shame.
I was tempted to point out to the curator that this was a bit like the Chico
and Harpo's scam to sell enough code books to bet on Sun-Up in "A Day at the
Races" ... but thought better of it. I'll leave the humour to the
Sunnybank Hills, Qld
From: Mark Twain Forum on behalf of Kevin Mac Donnell
Sent: Fri 27/08/2010 2:48 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Following the Equator
Regarding the best reading edition of FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR--
The English edition, MORE TRAMPS ABROAD, contains 6,000 words deleted = from
the American edition. On the other hand, the American edition includes =
1,400 words not in the English edition. So, neither is entirely satisfactory
= as a reading edition.
Is there an edition that provides the full text? I reckon I dunno. I'm = not
sure an edition with the "full text" could be considered authorial in = the
sense that it would reflect Twain's final intentions, but so long as the
altered texts were designated as such, it would make for good reading. I
don't know if the 1899 collected edition of FTE was revised by Twain. I =
have marked proof copies for two works from that edition, but not FTE, and I
= have not compared the 1899 text to the 1897 English and American editions.
Perhaps the MTP knows to what extent Twain was aware of those textual
differences and whether he revised the 1899 setting.
If he did revise the text, then any FTE odd volumes from the 1899 = edition
would do. That setting was used to print several later editions. BUT, =
you'd miss out on the original illustrations that appeared in the 1897 =
American edition (they are not present in the 1897 English edition). The
Oxford edition simply reproduces the American edition, and not the English,
but = has a good essay on the illustrations by Beverly David.
Then, of course, there's the first Canadian edition (Vancouver, 1899)...
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