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182

CLEMENS (SAMUEL LANGHORNE) 'Mark Twain' Autograph postcard signed, Guildford, August 1896

In Fine Books, Maps and Manuscripts

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CLEMENS (SAMUEL LANGHORNE) 'Mark Twain' Autograph postcard signed, Guildford, August 1896
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CLEMENS (SAMUEL LANGHORNE) 'Mark Twain' Autograph postcard signed ('S.L. Clemens'), to his publishers Messrs Chatto & Windus, informing them he is expecting a cablegram from New York '...before night tomorrow...', and asking them to wire it to him at once ('...it may arrive after your Saturday business hours, you know...'), one page, dust-stained and discoloured, small nick to upper edge, remains of mounts on verso, 89 x 114mm., 'Guildford, 21 August, 8 p.m.' [postmarked 1896] Footnotes: 'HAVE IT WIRED TO ME HERE AT ONCE': MARK TWAIN ANXIOUSLY WAITS FOR A CABLE THREE DAYS AFTER FIRST HEARING OF HIS DAUGHTER'S DEATH. Mark Twain lived at Highfield House, Guildford, for only a brief period from around 7 August to 10 September 1896, a short but '...crucial time in his life...' (Peter Messent, 'Mark Twain in Guildford', Mark Twain Journal, Vol.36, No.2 (Fall 1998), pp.26-29). Following his world lecture tour, he had been hoping to find a sojourn of peace and quiet in England in order to write up his notes, which were to be published as Following the Equator the following year. However, on hearing that his daughter Susy was ill, his wife Olivia and daughter Clara hurriedly departed for America on 15 August, leaving him behind in Guildford. On 18 August he discovered via cable the tragic news that Susy had died of meningitis at home in Elmira at the age of 24. Twain's autobiography describes this devastating period in poignant detail (Harriet Elinor Smith, ed., Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1, Berkeley, 2010). It is perhaps telling that no letters from this grief-stricken period are included in Mark Twain's Letters, Vol.IV online, so this makes our postcard a rare survival. The postcard derives from a collection formed over two generations by the great grandfather of the present owner, Marcus Davis, an eminent dental surgeon recorded in the Royal Blue Book for 1885 at 18 George Street, Hanover Square. Provenance: Marcus Davis (1858-1923); Desmond Conrad Marcus Davis (1907-1959, film and TV producer & director); thence by descent. For further information on this lot please visit Bonhams.com For further information about this lot please visit the lot listing

CLEMENS (SAMUEL LANGHORNE) 'Mark Twain' Autograph postcard signed ('S.L. Clemens'), to his publishers Messrs Chatto & Windus, informing them he is expecting a cablegram from New York '...before night tomorrow...', and asking them to wire it to him at once ('...it may arrive after your Saturday business hours, you know...'), one page, dust-stained and discoloured, small nick to upper edge, remains of mounts on verso, 89 x 114mm., 'Guildford, 21 August, 8 p.m.' [postmarked 1896] Footnotes: 'HAVE IT WIRED TO ME HERE AT ONCE': MARK TWAIN ANXIOUSLY WAITS FOR A CABLE THREE DAYS AFTER FIRST HEARING OF HIS DAUGHTER'S DEATH. Mark Twain lived at Highfield House, Guildford, for only a brief period from around 7 August to 10 September 1896, a short but '...crucial time in his life...' (Peter Messent, 'Mark Twain in Guildford', Mark Twain Journal, Vol.36, No.2 (Fall 1998), pp.26-29). Following his world lecture tour, he had been hoping to find a sojourn of peace and quiet in England in order to write up his notes, which were to be published as Following the Equator the following year. However, on hearing that his daughter Susy was ill, his wife Olivia and daughter Clara hurriedly departed for America on 15 August, leaving him behind in Guildford. On 18 August he discovered via cable the tragic news that Susy had died of meningitis at home in Elmira at the age of 24. Twain's autobiography describes this devastating period in poignant detail (Harriet Elinor Smith, ed., Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1, Berkeley, 2010). It is perhaps telling that no letters from this grief-stricken period are included in Mark Twain's Letters, Vol.IV online, so this makes our postcard a rare survival. The postcard derives from a collection formed over two generations by the great grandfather of the present owner, Marcus Davis, an eminent dental surgeon recorded in the Royal Blue Book for 1885 at 18 George Street, Hanover Square. Provenance: Marcus Davis (1858-1923); Desmond Conrad Marcus Davis (1907-1959, film and TV producer & director); thence by descent. For further information on this lot please visit Bonhams.com For further information about this lot please visit the lot listing

Fine Books, Maps and Manuscripts

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Tags: Letter, Journal, Book