This book contains the complete texts of all known correspondence between Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain) and Joseph Hopkins Twichell. Theirs was a rich exchange. The long, deep friendship of Clemens and Twichella Congregationalist minister of Hartford, Connecticutrarely fails to surprise, given the general reputation Twain has of being antireligious. Beyond this, an examination of the growth, development, and shared interests characterizing that friendship makes it evident that as in most things about him, Mark Twain defies such easy categorization or judgment.
From the moment of their first encounter in 1868, a rapport was established. When Twain went to dinner at the Twichell home, he wrote to his future wife that he had “got up to go at 9.30 PM, & never sat down againbut [Twichell] said he was bound to have his talk out& I was willing& so I only left at 11.” This conversation continued, in various forms, for forty-two yearsin both men’s houses, on Hartford streets, on Bermuda roads, and on Alpine trails.
The dialogue between these two menone an inimitable American literary figure, the other a man of deep perception who himself possessed both narrative skill and withas been much discussed by Twain biographers. But it has never been presented in this way before: as a record of their surviving correspondence; of the various turns of their decades-long exchanges; of what Twichell described in his journals as the “long full feast of talk” with his friend, whom he would always call “Mark.”
|Publisher:||University of Georgia Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
Harold K. Bush (Editor)
HAROLD K. BUSH is a professor English at Saint Louis University and the author of three books, including Mark Twain and the Spiritual Crisis of His Age.
Steve Courtney (Editor)
STEVE COURTNEY, an independent scholar, has worked for more than three decades as a journalist and has had several positions at the Hartford Courant. He is a coeditor of The Civil War Letters of Joseph Hopkins Twichell (Georgia).
Peter Messent (Editor)
PETER MESSENT is the Emeritus Professor of Modern American Literature at the University of Nottingham and the author of several books, including Mark Twain and Male Friendship: The Twichell, Howells, and Rogers Friendships.