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SAMUEL L. "MARK TWAIN" CLEMENS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 02/19 - HFSID 3382

SAMUEL L. CLEMENS (MARK TWAIN) Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) sends an autograph letter declining to give a toast for a fellow poet. Autograph Letter Signed: "Mark Twain", ¾p, 4½x7. Hartford, Connecticut, no year February 19. To unknown recipient.

Sale Price $3,825.00

Reg. $4,500.00

Condition: lightly creased
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SAMUEL L. CLEMENS (MARK TWAIN)
Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) sends an autograph letter declining to give a toast for a fellow poet.
Autograph Letter Signed: "Mark Twain", ¾p, 4½x7. Hartford, Connecticut, no year February 19. To unknown recipient. In full: "The expression of the reverence & admiration which I feel for our great poet could not be compressed into the narrow limits of a toast or a 'sentiment,' so I will not make the attempt." Pencil note (unknown hand) at upper margin: "Re Longfellow". Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was the most popular, venerated and taught American poet of his day, and Mark Twain (1835-1910) would honor him posthumously with a tribute in "The New York Times" on February 24, 1907. Following the poet's death on March 24, 1882, Twain satirized Longfellow, as well as his contemporaries, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes, before a crowd of their admirers. His "roast" was met with the same outrage as a previous speech, given at a dinner in honor of the 70th birthday of poet John Greenleaf Whittier and the 20th anniversary of the "Atlantic Monthly", at which Twain had poked fun at distinguished literary guests, including Whittier, Emerson and Holmes (ironically, only Longfellow had laughed heartily at Twain's droll comments). Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Soiled, touching signature and writing (all legible). Light stains at blank areas. ¼-inch tear at lower blank margin. Overall, fine condition.

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