Just re-read PW last week. Yes, Essex was Roxy's declared consort,
but without the book in front of me right now for evidence I'm more
convinced that Twain's prudishness tip-toed around the idea that an
owner had "relations" (voluntary or otherwise) with his slave.

Consider, MT wrote "In Defense of Harriet Shelley" at the same time
as PW, and was concerned in that essay about the poet Percy siring
two families at the same time. And PW is nothing if not the
assimilation of everything contemporary in MT's life. His notebooks
show Andrew Carnegie had just told him to put all his eggs in one
basket and watch that basket. MT put those words in PW's calendar.


Alex B. Effgen, M.A.
Boston University