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JULES AUSTIN HOJNOWSKI <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 28 Mar 2013 23:12:15 +0000
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Kent R. might know, he and I worked on many letters to Twain, and it sounds vaguely familiar to me.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Twain Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tracy Wuster
Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:22 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Tracking down a scoundrel

Hello all,

In "My Father Mark Twain," Clara tells the story of how Twain would write but not send letters to vent his anger.  She gives the example
(p69-70) of a letter to a man who had written an unsigned review of Twain's Jamestown, N.Y. lecture in 1870.

Roughly 16 years later, this man wrote to Twain asking for help obtaining a consulship, to which Twain offered to instead provide a rope or a burial permit.  The critique of Twain's lecture is quite funny in how it so blatantly missed the point, and I would be tempted to call it a satire, if not for Twain's letter.

The review is on Stephen Railton's site (scroll down):

Does anyone have any guesses on the identity of the reviewer?  I searched through the letters online at the MTP and didn't have any luck making the connection, so I thought I would seek out some help.

Thanks in advance,

Tracy Wuster