At 04:25 PM 9/7/96 -0400, Joe Staples wrote:

"The idea for CS Lewis' _Screwtape Letters_ seems to have been inspired by
Twain's _Letters From the Earth_.  Does anyone know of information on this
line of thought?"

The idea is intriguing, but the dates don't seem to work out, unfortunately.

"The Screwtape Letters" was published in 1942.

"Letters from the Earth" was edited by Bernard De Voto somewhat earlier --
in the late '30s -- and ready for publication in 1939.  But when DeVoto
submitted it to the Twain Trustees for approval, Clara Clemens put the
kibosh on the project -- or, as a later editor tactfully put it, "she
objected to the publication of certain parts of it on the ground that they
presented a distorted view of her father's ideas and attitudes."

The book consequently wasn't issued until 1962.

Pete Salwen