465
465
Clemens, Samuel L.
Estimate
6,0008,000
LOT SOLD. 10,625 USD
JUMP TO LOT
465
Clemens, Samuel L.
Estimate
6,0008,000
LOT SOLD. 10,625 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

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New York

Clemens, Samuel L.

A group of three letters to his publisher, Elisha Bliss.

Autograph letter signed ("Mark"), 3 pages, Elmira, 4 July [1870], telling Bliss about the generous offer he had received from another publishing firm, also mentions the improvement of his father-in-law's health; finger soiling in upper right corner of first page, soiling along crease fold. — Autograph letter signed ("Clemens"), one page on J. L. Langdon's letterhead, elmira, 5 August 1870, instructing Bliss to have his son Frank send a quarterly statement to Elmira and informing him that Mr. Langdon's case is hopeless and that his "family is shrouded in gloom, awaiting the end"—Jervis Langdon died the following day; browned, stained, mat burn. — Autograph letter signed ("Saml L. Clemens"), 4 pages on monogrammed stationery with Farmington Avenue imprint, Hartford, 19 February [?1874], requesting Bliss to travel to San Francisco and to dispose of a troublesome relative, a certain "Aunt Rachel"; closed tear on second page.


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Catalogue Note

tough talk. In his 4 July letter, Clemens details a negotiation he conducted with a rival publishing company, D. Appleton. He apparently intended to rib Bliss by making him keenly aware that there were other companies willing to lure him away with deals more lucrative than those that Bliss had offered. (Bliss had only paid Clemens a royalty of five percent on the gross sales of Innocents Abroad.) In the 19 February letter, Clemens colors the letter with his sly sense of humor: "Through being my publisher you have become a man of grace, & honest withal.—Now here is your chance to disseminate wholesome literature, visit a far country, & dispose of a troublesome relative of mine, all at the same time." Clemens proposes that Bliss stock 35 marine libraries with his books, take a long trip to San Francisco, and "see that my poor old excellent but imperishable aunt Rachel is shipped westward in the slowest & rottenest craft ... and finally, that you personaly superintend the embalming of my aunt."  

THE JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: ARTS & SCIENCES, INCLUDING THE MARK TWAIN COLLECTION

|
New York