To Members at Large - a problem:
The following is true except it is not a Twain book, it is not Twain's
lawyer, and it is not a Twain letter. I do have such a situation, but it is
another writer. However, the dilemma is real, and I just am offering this
problem in terms of being a Twain book so you put yourself into the problem
having. So ...
Imagine you have a hard cover copy of a Twain book. It is 19th century
and not significant in terms of rarity, desirability, or any other
However, glued onto the inside front cover are two letters. The top
letter, from Twain's lawyer, is a brief note to Twain regarding a check
for lectures given. This letter is just tipped in on one edge.
The second letter under it is a 3 page reply from Twain thanking the
lawyer for his help. It is totally glued down on the entire inside cover and
to be unfolded to read it. Content is nothing earth shaking. But it is nice,
A. Should this be left alone and kept as an artifact as a whole in its
original form. The difficulties with this plan are that it is 1) awkward to
unfold it to
read it and, 2) it is causing cumulative damage each time it is unfolded &
B. Should I have the letters removed by a qualified restorer, thus
being able to keep the three pieces together, but altered from the original
the letters could be displayed and read easily and with no damage.
The book was likely owned by the lawyer to whom Twain wrote.
I see it as important to keep the three items together - maybe not?
What would you do?
Thanking you in advance for your input.