SAMUEL L. "MARK TWAIN" CLEMENS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/14/1903 - HFSID 31406
Sale Price $2,720.00
SAMUEL L. CLEMENS (MARK TWAIN). ALS: "SL. Clemens", 1½p, 5¾x9. Riverdale, 1903 January 14. To Boston lawyer Frederick W. Peabody. In full: "I am very glad to have those documents, & shall take care of them & return them. I meant to publish only one more Science article (in the N.A. Review in April), but it is growing into a book, & I shall let it go on growing as much as it wants to, & issue the book very early in the spring. The reason I asked for the By-Laws book 'if you are done with it' was because I am afraid of borrowed articles - I was born careless. But I haven't mutilated it - I am glad of that. When it arrived, I had entirely forgotten that I had asked for it. McCrackan was sending things to me (he & I hadn't fallen out yet, in those days.) & I probably thought it came from him. I return my post-card as witness against me. Very truly yours". Lightly soiled at upper left of each page. 2 pinhead-sized spots to left of signature. Light horizontal fold crosses signature. 1-inch paper separation at left edge of lower fold on signature page. Overall, fine condition. Accompanied by a TLS: "Robert H. Hirst", General Editor, Mark Twain Project, University of California, Berkeley, 1p, 8½x11. Berkeley, 1983 November 1. In full: "I have now been able to put together some information for you regarding your Mark Twain letter to 'Dear Sir,' dated 'Riverdale, Jan. 14/03.' and signed 'SL. Clemens.' Mark Twain was writing to Frederick W. Peabody, a Boston attorney with whom he had been exchanging views concerning Christain Science since early December 1902. Peabody, a crusader against Christian Science, had been supplying Mark Twain with material to use in articles critical of that religious movement. (Mark Twain published four such articles in the North American Review-December 1902; January, February, April 1903. His book, Christian Science was published by Harper & Brothers, but in February 1907, not in the spring of 1903 as he here was expecting.) Most recently, Peabody had sent him some typewritten extracts from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science. In mentioning the 'By-laws book,' Mark Twain was referring to Mary Baker Eddy's Manual of the Mother Church: The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, 11th ed. (Boston: Christian Science Publishing Society, 1899), which Peabody had loaned him in response to a 5 December 1902 postcard in which he requested it. In a letter to Peabody on 15 December 1902, Mark Twain had remarked that he did not recall asking to borrow the book and so Peabody had sent back the 5 December postcard to refresh his memory. Here Mark Twain explains that he had mistakenly thought the manual had been sent to him by William D. McCrackan, an author of travel books and popular histories who was director of the New York office of the Christian Science Publication Committee. Like Peabody, McCrackan corresponded with Mark Twain for a time, sending him material supportive of Christian Science. I trust that this information will be helpful to you. Needless to say, I was delighted to be able to read this letter, which sheds light on the composition of Mark Twain's Christian Science pieces and which I had known of before only through a very brief extract in a dealer's catalog. It would be a notable addition to anyone's collection." Two items.
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