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SAMUEL L. "MARK TWAIN" CLEMENS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 12/11/1902 - HFSID 31407

SAMUEL CLEMENS [MARK TWAIN] While writing a series of articles on Christian Science, the author admonishes a confidante to keep his letters on the subject private. ALS: "SL. Clemens", 1p, 5½x9. Riverdale, N.Y. City, no year, but 1902, December 11. Begins: "Dear Sir

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Reg. $2,800.00

Condition: lightly creased
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SAMUEL CLEMENS [MARK TWAIN]
While writing a series of articles on Christian Science, the author admonishes a confidante to keep his letters on the subject private.
ALS: "SL. Clemens", 1p, 5½x9. Riverdale, N.Y. City, no year, but 1902, December 11. Begins: "Dear Sir". In full: "I shall not be through with what I have to say in the N.A. Review about Mrs. Eddy & Xn Science until the April number. Do you mean to tell me that my private letters are not safe in your hands? You want to go pretty carefully, now, & not make any mistakes." Lightly creased. Nicked at horizontal folds. Accompanied by TLS: "Robert H. Hirst" as General Editor, Mark Twain Project, 1p, 8½x11. University of California, Berkeley, 1983 October 28. In part: "The year of this letter is 1902 and its addressee was Frederick W. Peabody. Since early December 1902, Mark Twain and Peabody, a Boston lawyer, had been corresponding about Christian Science, a religious movement that both men found objectionable. Mark Twain was in the process of contributing four articles on the subject to the North American Review. The first of these appeared in the December 1902 number of the magazine; the others would appear in January, February, and April 1903. Mark Twain's rather irritable query about his private letters not being safe in Peabody's hands refers to a remark Peabody had made in a letter of 10 December 1902. After asserting that Mark Twain's 'Christian Science' (North American Review, December 1902) would 'give the old woman's [a reference to Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science] business a more or less of a boom' by attracting attention to it, Peabody broached a plan to publish the 5 December 1902 letter he had from Mark Twain, which, 'if published verbatim, would distinctly discolor at least one of its [Christian Science's] eyes.' He asked Mark Twain to put aside personal feelings and allow the private letter to be published in the public interest. (I enclose a copy of Peabody's letter...) [included] Ever jealous of publication rights to the products of his pen, Mark Twain closes his 11 December letter with a clear warning to Peabody to forbear...." Lightly creased. Staple holes and light paper clip impression in upper left margin. Two items.

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