TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Proportional Font
Show HTML Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

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

Print Reply
Ben Wise <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 8 Aug 2010 20:14:07 -0400
text/plain (121 lines)
Well, one other thought (which may have been considered and dismissed 
without comment in Kevin's answer):
did Twain make any public appearances in the 
Amherst/Northampton/Springfield area during ED's lifetime, and if so, 
wasn't he famous enough that she would have at least been aware of 
that (attending would have been a more problematic matter, I 
suppose).  Again, this may just reflect my ignorance of Twain's 
touring career, but if there's an easy answer, I'd appreciate it.



Thanks, Kevin.  I thought it might be a worth while question, but 
didn't expect such a thoroughly researched and thoughtful answer. 
Sounds like it must be the last word on the subject (except for the 
cliff-hanger at the end!)

Thanks again.


>See Gribben p 193 for evidence that Twain at least knew of her, although he
>may not have read her works. He knew what her home looked like and Howells
>quoted one of her poems to Twain in a letter. Twain would not have known of
>her during her own lifetime through Higginson since he and Higginson did not
>meet until 1905. He did knew both Wadsworth and Bowles during her lifetime,
>but the circumstances of their encounters don't suggest she would have been
>a topic of conversation. In 1876 Twain acquired a copy of Higgisnon's
>ATLANTIC ESSAYS (1871) which included his famous "Letter to a Young
>Contributor" which had prompted ED to contact him for his opinion of her
>poetry (there is no mention of ED in this book, of course). Twain did mark
>up that particular essay (I own Twain's copy). ED claimed to have read every
>one of Higginson's essays in the Atlantic Monthly and her father was a
>charter subscriber, so it's fair to assume that she would have continued
>reading that magazine until her death in 1886, and if that's true than she
>would have seen Twain's pieces in that magazine published before that date
>(A True Story, Old Times on the Mississippi, etc). Her library and papers
>are at Harvard, but I have no idea if it includes any Twain volumes, or any
>dog-earred copies of Atlantic Monthly. Even if it contains none of Twain's
>own books, it could easily include volumes that contain Twain contributions.
>Twain did not own any of her collections of poetry, and so far as I can
>tell, he owned no poetry anthologies that included her work (there were very
>few such volumes published between 1878 amd 1910). So, it looks like Gribben
>gave the full extent of Twain's awareness of her when he published his book
>on Mark Twain's Library in 1980. The question remains whether she knew
>Twain's work, and the answer may be on a shelf at Harvard
>Mac Donnell Rare Books
>9307 Glenlake Drive
>Austin TX 78730
>Member: ABAA, ILAB
>You may browse our books at
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Ben Wise" <[log in to unmask]>
>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2010 12:10 PM
>Subject: Sam 'n' Em
>>  Now that the suspense is finally over, a related question occurs to
>>  me: what do we know about what they might have known of each other?
>>  Did either of them ever mention the other, or have the other
>>  mentioned to them personally by someone else, or own any of their
>>  books?
>>  From a curious but non-scholarly fan of both.
>>  Ben
>>>We have a winner! They sent their answers to me privately and I've asked =
>>>permission to post their reply to the list. Otherwise I'll post their =
>>>answers without attribution. That was fast --less time than it took me =
>>>to kill and poetize that fly.
>>>In the meantime, I still have extra copies of all three prize books, so =
>>>I'll extend the offer of a  prize to the second person to identify all =
>>>three mutual friends of Twain and Emily Dickinson. Please post your =
>>>answers to the list.=20
>>>Mac Donnell Rare Books
>>>9307 Glenlake Drive
>>>Austin TX 78730
>>>Member: ABAA, ILAB
>>>You may browse our books at=20
>  >
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG -
>Version: 9.0.851 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/3058 - Release Date: 08/08/10

Benjamin N. Wise, Ph.D.	 Home Phone: 603-256-8350
Professor	Emeritus		 Fax: 603-358-2897
Keene State College		 [log in to unmask]
Keene, NH 03435-2001