Twain also discusses Lincoln in a speech, circa 1901. it's in MT's
Speaking, 229f, and I also describe aspects of the relationship in my book
MT & Spiritual Crisis. There is another, extremely valuable reading of
Lincoln in AMERICA'S GOD, by Mark Noll, should anyone wish to read further
about my own idiosyncratic interests in the Twain-Lincoln connection.
Thanks, Gretchen, for reminding me of Fred Kaplan's nice book, which I had
read and actually, in fifty-something style, promptly forgot or misplaced
somehow, neurologically speaking.
Re: Peter's mention of the poetry (both were minor, rather amateur poets who
both showed flashes of genius): Lincoln and Twain both had a very
sentimental streak that is well illustrated in some of their poems about the
lost past of the western worlds in which they both developed. Much more
could be written about the poetry of both these seminal writers...
If you are wondering about my immersion in Honest Abe, I am completing the
volume in Iowa's series, to be called LINCOLN IN HIS OWN TIMES. On a
related note, Gary Scharnhorst is just completing the Twain volume, or it
may be already available (or soon?). there are already great volumes in the
series: Joel Myerson on Fuller; Susan Belasco on Stowe, Hawthorne, Poe,
etc: see --
ps-- it is odd to me how little has been done by professors of English. I
regularly teach his speeches and find his prose to be masterful. As far as
I know, not a single professor in my own department ever says a word about
Lincoln. Besides Kaplan, and Douglas Wilson's excellent work, and Andrew
Delbanco (really in American Studies...) there is almost nothing written
about Lincoln by English professors. why is that??
Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
Professor of English
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO 63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)