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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
From: Jim McWilliams <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 22:11:55 -0600
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The comments about Austen remind me about my first attempt at a Ph.D at a
university which shall remain anonymous.  I wanted to specialize in early
American and write about Twain for my dissertation, but I wanted to minor
in 18th century British as well because I was interested in the history of
satire.  I approached one of the resident 18th-century British scholars--a
man who is (or, perhaps, was) a recognized authority on Austen--to be on my
committee.  He refused to serve because of Twain's comments about his
beloved Austen.  At the time, all I'd read of Austen was _Pride &
Prejudice_, and I haven't felt compelled to read anything else by her
through the ensuing years.

Jim McWilliams