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Letters of Mark Twain, Complete

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By: (1835-1910)

These letters were arranged in two volumes by Albert Bigelow Paine, Samuel L. Clemens's literary executor, as a supplement to Mark Twain, A Biography, which Paine wrote. They are, for the most part, every letter written by Clemens known to exist at the time of their publication in 1917. They begin with a fragment of a letter from teenaged Sam Clemens to his sister, Pamela, and conclude with a letter to his attorney two weeks before his death.

These letters give us some degree of insight into the evolution of Twain's style of speech and prose over the period of his lifetime; they are a small window into the psyche that created the various characters of his stories.

But they also reveal the tragedies of his life: the lack of success in his business ventures, the passing of family. And as I read each one in this collection, I can almost detect the faint odor of one of his “devilish” cigars wafting across the room. (Introduction by James K. White)

First Page:

MARK TWAIN'S LETTERS 1853 1910

ARRANGED WITH COMMENT BY ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE

VOLUME I VI, COMPLETE

By Mark Twain

MARK TWAIN'S LETTERS 1853 1866

ARRANGED WITH COMMENT BY ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE

VOLUME I

By Mark Twain

FOREWORD

Nowhere is the human being more truly revealed than in his letters. Not in literary letters prepared with care, and the thought of possible publication but in those letters wrought out of the press of circumstances, and with no idea of print in mind. A collection of such documents, written by one whose life has become of interest to mankind at large, has a value quite aside from literature, in that it reflects in some degree at least the soul of the writer.

The letters of Mark Twain are peculiarly of the revealing sort. He was a man of few restraints and of no affectations. In his correspondence, as in his talk, he spoke what was in his mind, untrammeled by literary conventions.

Necessarily such a collection does not constitute a detailed life story, but is supplementary to it... Continue reading book >>


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