I wrote my master's thesis the subject of Twain and Twins called Extraordinary Twins: Toms, Twins and Mark Twain. There is a book by Susan Gillman called Dark Twins: Imposture and Identity in Mark Twain's America that I drew from. There are some other books that don't exactly focus on twins, but touch on it. One such book is by J.D. Stahl called Mark Twain, Culture and Gender. In my thesis, I covered Tom and Huck, Pudd'nhead Wilson, the Prince and the Pauper, and some other texts. I view Twain's continuous use of twinned characters as a reflection of his own duality as Sam Clemens and Mark Twain.
Carolyn Leutzinger Richey
Tarleton State University
Department of English and Languages
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From: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Arianne . <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2017 5:29 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Sam and Henry
Thanks! What I'm interested in is what OTHER people have written about
Twain and twins. I'm familiar with his work and party turns on twins.
Appreciate your response!
On Sun, Aug 27, 2017 at 2:47 PM, Martin Zehr <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Arianne: Two "twin" associations come to mind. The first is Twain's
> fascination with Chang & Eng, the Siamese twins, the subject of "Personal
> Habits of the Siamese Twins," published in 1869, and also the basis of the
> hilarious, and politically incorrect portrayal of the Siamese Twins by
> Twain and a collaborator, at a costume party, circa 1906(?), described in
> Michael Shelden's biography "Mark Twain: Man in White......" Surely Twain
> would have known about the Siamese twins long before his 1869 piece. Now,
> if memory serves, there are also the Levin brothers, from his Hannibal
> childhood, although I can't swear that they were twins, only that they were
> referred to by Sam and his friends as "Twenty-two."
> In the category of "advice worth the price."
> Martin Zehr
> On Sun, Aug 27, 2017 at 4:30 PM, Arianne . <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I've been re-reading my thesis written in 1963 and thinking about what I
> > discovered since at the Mark Twain Papers in 1978. (Life tends to
> > intervene). If it is not inappropriate to ask, could anyone tell me who,
> > if anyone, did the best most thorough job on the relationship between
> > and his brother Henry since then? As far as I know, nobody. I see Henry
> > as the source of Twain's interest in and identification with twins.
> > Back in 1963, right after handing in the paper to the University of
> > at El Paso for my MA, I left for Peace Corps service in Cameroons, West
> > Africa. When I came back I went for my Phd at University of California
> > Berkeley. Had to leave after only three months when my mother had a
> > stroke. I was there because of the Mark Twain Papers and asked to see
> > first scrapbook which, I think, was delivered to me by Fredrick Anderson,
> > who in 1978 eventually became my mentor. When I came back to Berkeley
> > after an interval at home in Sacramento, I learned he had died which
> > my heart. Nevertheless, it was back then that I met Robert Hirst who
> > something I'd written about another issue I'd stumbled upon in Twain's
> > first scrabbook. He never read the original thesis which brougt me there
> > in the first place, though.
> > I wrote the thesis, went to the Peace Corps, and entered UC Berkeley as
> > Jeanne Adamson. When I returned to the Mark Twain Papers in 1978, I was
> > Arianne Laidlaw. The ladies will understand. Passports confirm all my
> > name changes.
> > Looking forward to any views
> > --
> > Arianne Laidlaw
Arianne Laidlaw A '58