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SAMUEL L. "MARK TWAIN" CLEMENS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 03/20/1893 - HFSID 307087

SAMUEL CLEMENS ("MARK TWAIN") Preparing to set sail for America, he defers a dinner invitation in Florence by explaining that he will arrive by way of New York and Chicago, "because it is much more creditable to go 8,000 miles to pay a dinner-call than it is to go a matter of 600 yards".

Sale Price $8,000.00

Reg. $10,000.00

Condition: fine condition
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SAMUEL CLEMENS ("MARK TWAIN")
Preparing to set sail for America, he defers a dinner invitation in Florence by explaining that he will arrive by way of New York and Chicago, "because it is much more creditable to go 8,000 miles to pay a dinner-call than it is to go a matter of 600 yards". A classic example of the author's dry wit, matted and framed to 13½x11½.
Autograph Letter signed: "Auf Wiedersehen/S L Clemens", 2 pages (integral leaf), 3¾x6. Double-matted and framed with an unsigned picture of Clemens and explanatory plaque, to an overall size of 13½x11½. Villa Villiani, Settignano, Florence [Italy], 1893 March 20. To "Mrs. Ross" [Janet, Mrs. Henry Ross], in full: "It was my purpose to run in & indulge my pleasure in the society of Sir William & my Lady a little more, & I count it a loss that I failed of the chance; but my time has been all taken up in clearing the decks for America. I shall go over & pay my dinner-call the moment I get back from America. This seems unprompt; but I have a trained conscience, & I quiet it by telling it I am on my road to pay it now, merely by going by the way of New York and Chicago for the sake of variety, & because it is much more creditable to go 8,000 miles to pay a dinner-call that it is to go a matter of 600 yards." Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), who wrote under the pen name Mark Twain, was a steamboat pilot, journalist, world traveler and renowned lecturer. Above all, he was a skillful essayist and novelist whose lasting contributions to American literature include Tom Sawyer (1875), Huckleberry Finn (1885) and A Connecticut Yankee At King Arthur's Court (1889). Here he writes to Janet Ross, the wife of banker Henry Ross and the daughter of writer/translator Lucie Duff Gordon. Clemens and his family visited Henry and Janet Ross whenever their travels took them to Italy. Mrs. Ross quotes from this very letter in her 1912 book, The Fourth Generation. Two days after sending it, Clemens set sail for New York aboard the Kaiser Wilhelm II to work on a business deal. The journey went well, but the business venture, a new type of typesetting machine, was a disastrous failure resulting in personal bankruptcy. Although not legally obligated to repay his creditors, Clemens undertook an exhausting world lecture tour (1895-1896) in order to do so, and to recoup the family fortune. One horizontal fold. Light foxing. Slightly worn. Otherwise, fine condition. Not framed in the Gallery of History style.

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