TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Steve Hoffman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 30 Jun 2016 13:19:48 -0400
text/plain (57 lines)
The opening paragraph of Charles Dickens' Life and 
Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewhit opens with a 
humorous paragraph which drily satirizes our 
obsessions with family lineages .... noting that 
the Chuzzlewhits deserve great respects for, after 
all, they trace their lineage to Adam and Eve.

I am nearly 100% sure I once read Twain making a 
similar remark .... it was in the context of 
giving some truthful information about his parents 
ancestors, the Clemens and/or the Lamptons, and he 
threw in a boost along these lines (e.g that his 
great-great-grandfather was a direct descendant of 
Adam, or something along those lines).

So now it's bugging me that I can't recall the 
reference, and when I attempt to  do 
quick-and-dirty Google search, I just get lines 
from Twain's Diary of Adam and Eve.

If any Forum members recall the passage, let me know.

Steve Hoffman, Takoma Park MD

p.s. For those who are curious, here's Dickens' 
paragraph (prolix but still delightful -- I think 
our man Twain would've have stopped after the 
first sentence.

                    As no lady or gentleman, with
                    any claims to polite breeding,
                    can possibly sympathize with
                    the Chuzzlewit Family without
                    being firstassured of the
                    extreme antiquity of the race,
                    it is a great satisfaction to
                    know that it undoubtedly
                    descended in a direct line
                    from Adam and Eve; and was, in
                    the very earliest times,
                    closely connected with the
                    agricultural interest. If it
                    should ever be urged by
                    grudging and malicious
                    persons, that a Chuzzlewit, in
                    any period of the family
                    history, displayed an
                    overweening amount of family
                    pride, surely the weakness
                    will be considered not only
                    pardonable but laudable, when
                    the immense superiority of the
                    house to the rest of mankind,
                    in respect of this its ancient
                    origin, is taken into account.