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SAMUEL L. "MARK TWAIN" CLEMENS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED CIRCA 1901 - HFSID 5810

FROM HIS NEW HOME IN THE BRONX, MARK TWAIN ORDERS A BOOK WRITTEN BY CARMEN SYLVA WHOM HE LATER DESCRIBED AS "THAT CHARMING AND LOVABLE GERMAN PRINCESS AND POET, CARMEN SYLVA, QUEEN OF ROUMANIA"

Sale Price $2,550.00

Reg. $3,000.00

Condition: slightly creased, lightly soiled, otherwise fine condition
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FROM HIS NEW HOME IN THE BRONX, MARK TWAIN ORDERS A BOOK WRITTEN BY CARMEN SYLVA WHOM HE LATER DESCRIBED AS "THAT CHARMING AND LOVABLE GERMAN PRINCESS AND POET, CARMEN SYLVA, QUEEN OF ROUMANIA"
 
SAMUEL L. CLEMENS (MARK TWAIN).
Autograph Letter Signed: "S.L. Clemens", 1p, 3½x5 black-bordered stationery. Riverdale on the Hudson, no date, circa 1901-1902, Monday. To Frederick A. Duneka. In full: "And yet again! Will you please order for me - 'A Real Queen's Fairy Tales.' (Carmen Sylva.) Davis & Co., Chicago. & much oblige." Penciled note (unknown hand) at lower left: "Author a/c send & chg Howard" probably by an employee at Harper and Brothers. Slightly creased, lightly soiled, touching "Monday". Pinholes at upper right margin of integral leaf, which has tape remnants at upper corners on verso. Fine condition. Accompanied by TLS: "Robert H. Hirst", General Editor, Mark Twain Project, University of California, Berkeley, 1p, 8½x11. Berkeley, 1983 October 10. In full: "Thank you for letting me read your Mark Twain letter to Frederick A. Duneka, which is undated. Although we cannot pinpoint the date of writing exactly, we can place it between October 1901, when Mark Twain moved to Riverside-on-Hudson (sic, Riverdale on the Hudson), and February 1902, when our evidence indicates that he was in possession of the book referred to in the letter. Duneka was secretary of Harper and Brothers Publishing Company, and a friend of Mark Twain's, who often helped him to order books through his publishing connections. In this instance, the book requested was 'A Real Queen's Fairy Tales,' by Elizabeth of Rumania, who wrote under the pseudonym 'Carmen Sylva' Elizabeth was a German princess by birth but married Carol I of Rumania in 1869 and enthusiastically adopted her new country. When Mark Twain received his copy of the book, he inscribed it 'S.L. Clemens, Riverdale-on-Hudson, Feb. 22, 1902.' Later in 1902, in the short essay 'Does the Race of Man Love a Lord,' he discussed the queen's book and his affection for her, calling her 'that charming and lovable German princess and poet, Carmen Sylva, Queen of Roumania,' and described his pleasure in reading that she 'remembers yet that the flowers of the woods and fields "talked to her" when she was a girl.' I hope that this background information will be useful to you. Letters such as this, which broaden our knowledge of Mark Twain's reading tastes and habits, are worthy of any collection of the author's letters, and I am sure any fan would be delighted to own it." Slightly creased. Ink notes (unknown hand) at upper right margin. Fine condition. Riverdale on the Hudson is at the northern end of New York City in the borough of The Bronx. Two items.

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