I love that quotation (and other choice ones you can find by looking up Austen in Alan Gribben's _Mark Twain's Library: A Reconstruction_). But I've always wondered why he had such a violent reaction. Was it just to tweak Howells, who was a big Janeophile? Or was it something else he was reacting to? It seems to me that he should have appreciated Austen's tone, satire, and irony. He was evidently an appreciative and insighful reader of Browning, for example. So why this strong distaste for Austen? Any ideas?