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Harold Bush <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 21 Dec 2011 11:01:16 -0600
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Friends, I've not heard any response, and so suppose the quotation
supposedly by MT about the Civil War being about Scott vs. Burns to be
false.  I sent this to my colleague, who wrote back the following:

I think the canard is based on Twain's comments (which are really sharp and
very funny) about the pernicious influence of Scott on the culture of the
antebellum south in *Life on the Mississippi*. This was picked up and
transformed by Burnsians into a claim that what Twain *meant* was that the
civil war was a fight between an aristocratic feudal set of myths, and a
more democratic view of the world. The earliest reference to the Scott v.
Burns / confederacy v. union analogy is in a pretty forgotten work (Dudley
Wright, *Robert Burns and Freemasonry,* 1921), p. 106. No source for the
claim is given, but its now commonly repeated by Burns scholars as gospel.

just thought you might like to know, best wishes and happy holidays, --Hal

Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
Professor of English
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO  63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)