TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Jeremy Morong <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Jeremy Morong <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 5 Nov 2012 04:53:26 -0800
text/plain (90 lines)
Looks like abebooks has one copy priced reasonably if you really want it!

Mine doesn't have the dust jacket- too bad!  My Tom Sawyer Grows Up does.

 From: Sam Sackett <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Thursday, November 1, 2012 2:14 PM
Subject: Twain and Howe
Mark Twain and Edgar Watson Howe have three points of contact:

1.  When Ed Howe self-published The Story of a Country Town (1883), he sent=
a copy of it to Mark Twain.  Twain wrote Howe a letter of enthusiastic pra=
ise and gave permission to Howe to quote it.  Lytle Biggs, one of the chara=
cters in the novel, speaks in satiric quips which foreshadow Twain's Pudd'n=
head Wilson (1894).

2.  In 1885 the New York World jocularly proposed that Twain should run for=
president, with Howe as his vice-president.

3.  In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) Twain briefly describes a circ=
us performance in which a pretended drunken man performs amazing stunts whi=
le standing on the back of a trotting horse and is then revealed as a circu=
s performer.  In Howe' autobiography, Plain People (1929) he describes havi=
ng seen just such a performance in the Miles Orton Circus, which played in =
Bethany, MO, in about 1863; Howe's short story "When the Circus Came to Tow=
n," which appeared in the American Magazine in 1911 and was reprinted as "D=
octor Gilkerson" in The Anthology of Another Town (1920), describes the sam=
e performance.

When I was assigned to write the Twayne United States Authors Series volume=
on E.W. Howe, there was no full-length biography of Howe in existence exce=
pt for his own autobiography, which I thought might not be sufficiently det=
ailed or reliable.  Calder Pickett's biography had not been published.  So =
I set to work accumulating the information to write a biography.

In 1965 I went to Bethany, where Howe grew up, and to nearby Fairview, wher=
e his father was preacher.  I spent several days in Atchison, KS, interview=
ing people who had known Howe -- and discovering that most of them wouldn't=
talk to Pickett because he had offended them by an article on Howe he had =
written.  I spent many hours in the office of the Atchison Globe reading th=
e files of the paper when Howe had edited it.  I had an extensive correspon=
dence with Howe's son, the late Jim Howe; I spoke many times with Howe's ni=
ece, Adelaide Howe, who had been his housekeeper and was living then in the=
house Howe had lived in.  I acquired photocopies of all of Howe's correspo=
ndence then available.  I read everything Howe had published.  I scoured al=
l available secondary sources.

And then I wrote the biography, about 200 pages long.  But the TUSAS format=
limited me to 25 pages of biography, so I condensed what I had.  Pickett's=
biography came out in 1968, and I was disappointed.  He had not done more =
than half the research I had done, and he made the incorrect assumption tha=
t Howe had not changed his opinions in the 84 years of his life.  His book =
was badly organized and poorly written.  But since it existed, there was no=
t then any possibility that I could publish my full-length biography.  My T=
USAS volume came out in 1972.

Recently I made an effort to find a publisher for my biography, since Picke=
tt's was out of print.  Nobody was interested.  Mine still needs more tidyi=
ng up, but there's no point in working further on it since I cannot publish=
it.  So I have decided to make my draft available, free and uncopyrighted,=
to anyone who might want to read it.  If you'd like to have a copy, e-mail=
me at [log in to unmask], and I'll send it to you as an e-mail attac=

You can download it and read it as an e-book, you can print it off and bind=
it, you can forward it to people you know who might be interested.  If you=
are a library, you can catalog it as an e-book, or you can print it and pu=
t it on your shelves.
Sam Sackett