See Gribben p 193 for evidence that Twain at least knew of her, although he 
may not have read her works. He knew what her home looked like and Howells 
quoted one of her poems to Twain in a letter. Twain would not have known of 
her during her own lifetime through Higginson since he and Higginson did not 
meet until 1905. He did knew both Wadsworth and Bowles during her lifetime, 
but the circumstances of their encounters don't suggest she would have been 
a topic of conversation. In 1876 Twain acquired a copy of Higgisnon's 
ATLANTIC ESSAYS (1871) which included his famous "Letter to a Young 
Contributor" which had prompted ED to contact him for his opinion of her 
poetry (there is no mention of ED in this book, of course). Twain did mark 
up that particular essay (I own Twain's copy). ED claimed to have read every 
one of Higginson's essays in the Atlantic Monthly and her father was a 
charter subscriber, so it's fair to assume that she would have continued 
reading that magazine until her death in 1886, and if that's true than she 
would have seen Twain's pieces in that magazine published before that date 
(A True Story, Old Times on the Mississippi, etc). Her library and papers 
are at Harvard, but I have no idea if it includes any Twain volumes, or any 
dog-earred copies of Atlantic Monthly. Even if it contains none of Twain's 
own books, it could easily include volumes that contain Twain contributions. 
Twain did not own any of her collections of poetry, and so far as I can 
tell, he owned no poetry anthologies that included her work (there were very 
few such volumes published between 1878 amd 1910). So, it looks like Gribben 
gave the full extent of Twain's awareness of her when he published his book 
on Mark Twain's Library in 1980. The question remains whether she knew 
Twain's work, and the answer may be on a shelf at Harvard

Mac Donnell Rare Books
9307 Glenlake Drive
Austin TX 78730
Member: ABAA, ILAB
You may browse our books at

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ben Wise" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2010 12:10 PM
Subject: Sam 'n' Em

> Now that the suspense is finally over, a related question occurs to
> me: what do we know about what they might have known of each other?
> Did either of them ever mention the other, or have the other
> mentioned to them personally by someone else, or own any of their
> books?
> From a curious but non-scholarly fan of both.
> Ben
>>We have a winner! They sent their answers to me privately and I've asked =
>>permission to post their reply to the list. Otherwise I'll post their =
>>answers without attribution. That was fast --less time than it took me =
>>to kill and poetize that fly.
>>In the meantime, I still have extra copies of all three prize books, so =
>>I'll extend the offer of a  prize to the second person to identify all =
>>three mutual friends of Twain and Emily Dickinson. Please post your =
>>answers to the list.=20
>>Mac Donnell Rare Books
>>9307 Glenlake Drive
>>Austin TX 78730
>>Member: ABAA, ILAB
>>You may browse our books at=20


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