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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Andrew J Hoffman <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 19 Feb 1997 13:34:55 EST
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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Answers to two questions:

1) I don't believe SLC had any deep affinity with comets or any celestial
phenomenon; the presence of a comet in the sky at his birth was
fortuitous, in his view, but hardly ordained.  As he would himself ask:
ordained by who?  His knowledge of astronomy was pretty good for an
amatuer, but that was because scientific knowledge was valued highly in
his social and cultural set and not because he had any special interest
in space.

2) His consumption of liquor and tobacco varied between high and higher.
During periods of stress he probably went above his normal 2 or 3 drinks
a day, and he certainly got drunk with regularity during some points in
his life, like during his years out west and after Livy died.  Excepts
when he tried to cut down or stop smoking entirely, he consumed between
thirty and forty cigars a day.

Hope this helps.

Just to alert members of the Forum: _Inventing Mark Twain_ got shipped
earlier than expected and in probably at your bookstore now.  If you are
in or near Portland or Eugene OR, the SF Bay Area, LA, Denver or Boulder,
Houston, Austin, St. Louis, Hannibal, Bloomington or Indianapolis,
Chicago, Madison WI, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philly or NYC, I will be
visiting a bookstore near you in April or May.  Please let me know if you
would like more information about dates and times.

Andy Hoffman