SAMUEL L. "MARK TWAIN" CLEMENS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 04/04/1903 - HFSID 31408
SAMUEL L. CLEMENS (MARK TWAIN). ALS: "SL. Clemens", 2p, 4½x6¾. Riverdale on the Hudson, N.Y. City, 1903 April 4. To Boston lawyer Frederick W. Peabody. In full: "That is a precious utterance of Mother, & I have placed it in my thesaurus of reserves for future use.
Sale Price $4,800.00
SAMUEL L. CLEMENS (MARK TWAIN). ALS: "SL. Clemens", 2p, 4½x6¾. Riverdale on the Hudson, N.Y. City, 1903 April 4. To Boston lawyer Frederick W. Peabody. In full: "That is a precious utterance of Mother, & I have placed it in my thesaurus of reserves for future use. Your name is at the top of the list & you would have received the first copy of the book, but with all my striving I failed to quite finish it; so, it has to go over, & be an autumn book. I had reached a point where I had no further use for books, reports, &c., therefore I am returning these to the several friends who lent them to me. Yours are ready for the express, but I will send this letter first, & the parcel a day later, so that you will be on the lookout for the parcel. I am most cussedly sorry I made marginal notes in your Church Manual & I apologize; it was my careless memory that was in fault. I had forgotten it was a borrowed book until you convicted me with my own post-card. The little Manual was my test for about 40,000 words - rather a useful document! With great & manifold thanks to you, I am Very truly yours". ¾-inch paper separation at lower edge of fold of conjoined pages. Paper separation at right edge of page 2, ¼-inch at upper fold, 1¼-inch at lower. Signature page lightly soiled. Overall, fine condition. Accompanied by TLS: "Robert H. Hirst", as General Editor, Mark Twain Project, University of California, Berkekey, 1p, 8½x11. Berkeley, 1983 November 1. In full: "Thank you for showing me your Mark Twain letter to 'My dear Sir,' dated 4 April 1903 from Riverdale, New York, and signed 'SL. Clemens.' I hope that the following information about it will be of interest to you. Mark Twain's correspondent was Frederick W. Peabody, a Boston lawyer. He and Mark Twain had been consulting, in letters, about Christian Science since early December 1902, while Mark Twain was preparing his series of four articles criticizing that religious movement for the North American Review (December 1902; January, February, April 1903). Mark Twain first planned to issue a book expanding upon those articles in the spring of 1903, then in the fall of the year, but in fact it was early 1907 before his Christian Science was published by Harper & Brothers. Peabody had earned 'the first copy' of the book planned for 1903 by the steady stream of material condemnatory of Christian Science that he had channeled to Mark Twain. On 31 March 1903 he had sent the 'precious utterance' by Mary Baker Eddy that Mark Twain alludes to here, which, unfortunately, I cannot presently identify. (I enclose a copy of Peabody's letter, however.) [copy is present] Previously he had loaned Mark Twain a copy of Mrs. Eddy's Manual of the Mother Church: The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, 11th ed. (Boston: Christian Science Publishing Society, 1899), one of Mark Twain's chief sources of information about Christian Science. Mark Twain had subsequently forgotten that Peabody was responsible for his having this book and was only reminded of that fact when Peabody mailed back to him the 5 December 1902 postcard in which he had requested the manual. I am tremendously pleased to have had the opportunity to read this letter, in which Mark Twain so generously states his indebtedness for assistance with a work that occupied him for years. It seems particularly valuable to me since as far as I can determine only a brief catalog excerpt from it was known before." Two items.
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