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Society as I Have Found It
Ward McAllister (1827 - 1895)

Mark Twain illustrator Dan Beard recalled discussing McAllister’s book with Twain. “It was before Webster & Company failed that Ward McAllister’s book (Society as I have Found It) appeared, and when he (Twain) sauntered into my studio one day, I said:
‘Mr. Clemens, have you read Ward McAllister’s book?’
‘Yes; have you?’ he replied.
‘Indeed, I have. I have read it through several times, and intend to read it again. It is one of the most humorous books I ever read.’
‘That’s so,’ said Mark, ‘that’s so. Now, I will tell you something. I spent three months writing a satire on that book of Ward McAllister’s. And when I got through, I again read McAllister’s book, and then my satire, and then tore the blamed thing up. Some things are complete in themselves and cannot be improved upon, and I take off my hat to Mr. McAllister.’” (ref. A Bibliography of the Work of Mark Twain by Merle Johnson)

“ When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”
 – Mark Twain

John Greenman
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