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James Edstrom <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 29 Feb 2016 10:19:34 -0800
text/plain (106 lines)
I read Mr. Carkeet's article with absorbing interest.  I had found Susan
Bailey's book to be a fascinating read and a wonderful story, and so I'm
probably like a lot of Twain aficionados--I wanted the story to be true.
After reading Mr. Carkeet's narrative, I think there can be no doubt
that his conclusion--much to my disappointment--is exactly right.  He
documented all of his research with great care; I was particularly
impressed that he took the time to evaluate Nina's diaries rather than
to rely upon the typescript.  As someone who has done similar
professional research to evaluate and debunk historical narratives based
on fraudulent documents, I applaud Mr. Carkeet's work.  Well done!

Jim Edstrom

Professor of Library Services and History

William Rainey Harper College

Palatine, Illinois

On Sat, 27 Feb, 2016 at 12:12:05 PM, Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
To: [log in to unmask]

Friends; first, thanks for this, & thanks mainly to you David.

2nd: I'm a little surprised there has been no response to David's
conclusions, here on the Twain Forum, which do appear definitive. Then
again, maybe it's not that surprising that nobody has responded, I
given the constraints of civil behavior. (One might wonder about the
currency of civility, given our odd presidential campaign season so

3rd: It was a fun ride while it lasted, laced with ironies; & quite a
tale, in any event. 'nuff said ... -hb

On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 9:09 AM, Taylor Roberts
<[log in to unmask]>

> [The following email was written by David Carkeet. I am posting it on
> behalf. -TR]
> ---
> Most Forum members are aware of Susan Bailey=E2=80=99s book THE TWAIN
> (co-authored by Deborah Gosselin), which sets forth the theory that
> is Samuel Clemens=E2=80=99s great-granddaughter. As many of you know,
> hav=
> e been
> researching this claim and the support cited for it, both documentary
> genetic. I have finished the study, and unfortunately my conclusion is
> Susan was mistaken in her belief. I have written up my findings, and
> report has just been posted on
> The report is written for the general reader unfamiliar with the
> so it is both an introduction to the story and a consideration of the
> evidence. In the course of my work, I had massive help from many
> almost all of them named in the report at one point or another, but a
> special thanks goes to Barb Schmidt for her steady and insightful
> assistance throughout.
> Thanks too to these collections for permission to publish previously
> unpublished photos and documents: Burton Historical Collection,
> Public Library; Kevin Mac Donnell, Mac Donnell Rare Books, Austin,
> L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University; Mark Twain
> House and Museum, Hartford; Mark Twain Project, Bancroft Library,
> University of California, Berkeley.
> If you have questions about the report, I will be happy to answer
> --David Carkeet [log in to unmask]

Prof. Harold K. Bush
Professor of English
3800 Lindell
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO 63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)