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Gretchen Sharlow <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 15 Apr 2008 19:27:49 -0400
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More on the Twain Name Game:

In the Elmira College Archive, there is a small pen and ink portrait of Mark 
Twain. It was probably a birthday gift to Susan Crane from her famous 
brother-in-law.  It is inscribed, " to the Lady Beloved, Susie Crane, from 
the Holy Sam'l."  "Mr. Clemens," as she often addressed him in 
correspondence, referred to his sister-in-law Susan, as "Saint Sue."  And 
often she called him "Holy Sam'l."

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Dawidziak" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 4:56 PM
Subject: Re: Addressing Mark Twain as "mark"

>    Ah, the Twain Name Game. It is, indeed, an intriguing topic, for our
> man seems to have been known by different names to different people: Sam
> or Sammy to Hannibal friends, to his mother and brother, and to mining
> chums; usually Clemens to Howells and Rogers (as they were Howells and
> Rogers to him, in the Victorian tradition of gentlemen friends using
> last names -- think Holmes and Watson); Mark to Twichell and other close
> friends;  Youth to Livy. And he signs his letters differently, according
> to the recipient.
>     I kicked this around a bit in "The Shape of the River" book, just
> for the sheer fun of it. It's just as intriguing (to me, at least) to
> see the primary name different biographers choose to employ. Some go
> with Sam. Some with Mark. Some go with Clemens. Some with Twain.
> Symbolically, I think it says a great deal about the richness of the
> writer and the personality we find so fascinating, but I'm not sure
> what. Maybe it's like the shape of the river, as Capt. Bixby explains it
> to young Sam (not yet Mark). Each time you try to get a fix on him,
> Mark-Sam-Clemens-Twain goes fooling around on you, changing form and
> daring you to keep up with him.