Thu, 5 Mar 1998 14:49:43 -0500
This is in response to Rivka Swenson's Wed. 18 Feb.posting. In it she
suggested possible similarities between Clara' treatment of Nina and SLC's
treatment of Jean.
For a glimpse of the relationship SLC had with his youngest daughter,
I wish to offer the following from a letter written by Susan Crane to SLC
after Jean's funeral in Elmira. I used it in a 1991 MS thesis for Elmira
College entitled "Love to All the Jolly Household": A Study of the Cranes
of Quarry Farm, Their Lives and Their Relationships with Mark Twain. The
letter is located at the Mark Twain Project, the Univ. of Cal. at Berkeley:
....Katy tells me you blame yourself for Jean's long absence from home - Do
not, do not; anymore. For at every turn you were doing what by the best
advice obtainable you considered was for her good. And she did improve, so
that even she came to feel that good had come to her through her
experiences away from home.
You cannot see as one a little apart can, how you have illustrated a
compassion akin to the divine. You have been lavish in the expenditure of
material good, and most patient and loving, all for Jean! Who richly
deserved it all, and the blessed emancipation that has set her free.
I do not wonder that you mourn the loss of the child, and are lonely,
but I cannot bear to have you condemn yourself for anything you have done
or faile to do ....
Certainly a panel on Mark Twain's daughters would be of interest. If not
at MLA, perhaps at the next Elmira conference. I do know that presently
Barbara Taylor is doing research on Jean.