Sat, 30 Dec 1995 12:44:17 -0500
[log in to unmask] has written:
> Didn't Livy refuse to let THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER be published? Isn't
> perhaps why it was published after the author's death? Twain customarily
> "ran his manuscripts" by Livy before having them published.
Clara was the executor of the Clemens estate, and she ruled
in her mother's interests alone. If Livy didn't want it
published, Clara didn't either.
Clara restricted access to the unpublished Twain scripts.
Scholars had to win her personal favor to look at them,
promising never to reveal their contents. Bernard DeVoto was
her favorite, and he never told, at least openly.
In the early fifties, a version of _1601_ leaked out. I
still have my copy of the slim paper edition, its trim
envelope now in shreds. It was sold only on the underground
-- no respectable bookseller would handle it. When the
unpublished works came into the public domain, publishers
already had them typeset. They had all been leaked out
behind Clara's back.
Because of Clara, two or three generations knew a Mark Twain
quite different from the writer and man he really was.
Bedford, Brooklyn NY