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Sharon McCoy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:37:14 +0000
text/plain (143 lines)
No worries, Arianne.  The documents of history are endlessly fascinating.

And my apologies, all, for the gobbledygook; there is no "text-only" option in this email account, and my other account has some issue with the server that had gotten me bounced from the list since last summer.  One of these days, I guess I'll have to cave in and get a gmail account.

Here's a shorter link to the Illinois site, as I like things I can download and print, myself:   

If the email translation sticks an "=" or "20" at the end, just delete those before pasting in a browser.

In terms of the speculation about a Grant burlesque, an inquiry to the Twain Papers would probably help you explore it, Arianne.  Personally, I'd be surprised, though, if Twain found Grant's life an appropriate subject for burlesque.  As you say, he loved biographies and he loved history -- and he loved burlesque -- but he usually burlesqued folly or presentation or skewered dishonor or pretension.  His opinion of, and his personal, literary, and financial investment in Grant seem to me to be based in values he would not burlesque or satirize -- in his later years, in any case.  And, I suspect, not even in his younger.  But you never know what you'll find if you start looking and remain open to whatever path the evidence leads to -- even, and maybe especially, if it is not one you anticipated or hoped for.  The veins of history are rich and deep.  And often surprising.

In terms of the book you mention, it is not one I remember.  If you want to see whether it's ever been reviewed on the forum, you can go to the TwainWeb main website and search in the archives for a review.  A quick look at a NYTimes review says that it draws heavily from his letters, journals, and newspaper writings.  The reviewer there says that the book "succeeds on the simple principle that the best representation of Mark Twain is Twain himself." (Walton, David. "In Short - Nonfiction, 22 April 1990).

From: Mark Twain Forum [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Arianne [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2015 10:31 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Connection between Twain and Lincoln

Many thanks, Sharon, for satisfying my curiosity about Abraham's trip down
the river.  Two of the links didn't work, but the Claremont and McClure's
links did so I now have saved the river story to read later.

You are very kind and I profoundly appreciate your generosity.  As it
happens, one of my speculations about Mark Twain is that he wrote a
burlesque biography based on one about General Grant.  He certainly joked
about Life of George Washington also mentioned in one of these articles.
I believe we can't depend on his word for the truth of anything since he
admits he hasn't included everything in his autobiography.   At least we
can be sure he was a fan of biographies, his own included.

Hoping I don't ask too much of you, is there any chance you have ever seen
or heard of a book, -Mark Twain; The Bachelor Years,- written by Margaret
Sanborn and published in 1990?  Our local Book Collector's Club meets
annually in the California State Library and there were several copies of
that book for sale there last year....AND this year!  I haven't read it
all, but was glad to see that she focused on his relationship with his
brother, Henry, more than I've noticed elsewhere.  I'm curious whether her
book has been mentioned here,  The slip cover carried a positive review
from the LA Times.

THANKS, again,

PS  Thought you might be interested in seeing how your message came
through.  Don't know what triggers 3Ds.

On Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 2:54 PM, Sharon McCoy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Arianne,=20
> The original Lincoln pamphlet has been republished multiple times, and you
> =
> can read the original online (see below).  I'd join Hal and Martin in
> cauti=
> on about the CW discussion post's claims about Twain, though, as the
> postin=
> g is pretty clearly a puff piece for the new edition (the only one called
> "=
> Vote Lincoln"), which is simply the newest of several over the decades,
> inc=
> luding a U of Indiana Press edition from 1961. =20
> As for reading the original Lincoln story, which John Locke Scripps is
> said=
>  to have based on an autobiographical sketch that Lincoln supplied,
> WorldCa=
> t shows several libraries owning a copy, and the Claremont College
> Librarie=
> s and the University of Illinois both have archival copies of the original
> =
> pamphlet available for free reading (Claremont) or download as PDF
> (Illinoi=
> s).=20
> Hoping that these URLs will come across without gobbledygook, but this is
> m=
> y first message to the Forum from this email account, so my fingers are
> cro=
> ssed.
> Claremont: =20
> University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign: =20
> cri/lifeofabrahamlin00scri.pdf
> You can also get the edition by Scripps's daughter, with printed
> documentat=
> ion of its provenance.  She'd never heard of the book when asked about it
> i=
> n the 1890s, but after extensive searching and correspondence, eventually
> g=
> ained access to four copies of the pamphlet and reprinted it in 1900. =20
> 1900 edition, Google books:=20
> You can read as an ebook on a device, or download as a PDF.
> The flatboat story was in general circulation in the 1890s, too, as
> McClure=
> 's Magazine talks about it in a piece on Lincoln (available on Project
> Gute=
> nberg, at
> Cheers,
> Sharon
> =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
> =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
> Sharon D. McCoy, Ph.D.
> Executive Coordinator, Mark Twain Circle of America
> Editor, All Things Twain:  An Encyclopedia of Mark Twain's World
>       (forthcoming, Greenwood/ABC-CLIO, 2016)
> Contributing Editor, Humor in America (on hiatus)
> Department of English
> University of Georgia
> 254 Park Hall
> Athens, GA  30602
> Office:  Park 44
> (706) 542-1261 (messages)
> What is life but a satire of our own pretensions?
> ________________________________________