Submitted by scott on Sat, 10/30/2021 - 10:04

August 5 Wednesday – In Southampton, England on South Western Hotel stationery, Sam wrote to J. Henry Harper.

I find that people are misled by the words “Edited by.” They seem to take it entirely for granted that Joan is not my book & that I am simply lending my name to somebody else’s book for such commercial value as it may possess. Don’t you think you can knock that unlucky word out, next time you print, & leave it simply, “by Mark Twain?”

Sam added they’d been delayed in Southampton a few days, but were expecting to “go out into the country” soon and take a “3-month’s rest from the platform & from racing around.” He added that A.B. Frost’s pictures for Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896) were “mighty good” [MTP].

Sam also wrote to his old friend and literary ally, William Dean Howells.

Certainly your White Longfellow is perfect — wholly flawless. And Mrs. Clemens requires me to thank you for writing it & sending it out to medicine the spirits of such as droop & the bodies of such as are in pain & would forget. She arrived here from South Africa five days ago with a sprained ancle at one end of her & despondency at the other end and — no, the despondency came later when she found she couldn’t run around the country house-hunting….

We hope to get a house in some quiet English village away from the world & society, where I can sit down for six months or so & give myself up to the luxury & rest of writing a book or two after this long fatigue & turmoil of platform-work & gadding about by sea & land. Susie & Jean sail from New York today, & a week hence we shall all be together again [MTHL 2: 660-1].

Notes: “The White Longfellow” was Howells’ account of his participation thirty years before in the readings of Longfellow’s Dante Club, and of his friendship with Longfellow. The article ran in the August Harper’s. This as the proposed sailing date for Susy and Jean Clemens varies from Katy Leary’s account that they were to sail after a cable “the following Saturday.” [Lawton 135]. Willis gives Saturday, Aug. 5, but the date was not a Saturday [235]. It is assumed here, therefore, that Sam’s date of Aug. 5 is correct, while the day of week given by Leary was in error. Also, Livy’s sprained ankle led to her quickly taking a house in Guildford for a month, with an eye toward finding a longer lease later [235].

Katy Leary’s recollections of moving Susy to the Farmington Ave. house (on this day):

Mr. Langdon came to Hartford in the morning and we took her over to the old home. She was very sick and she wouldn’t take a bit of medicine from anybody but me. She wouldn’t let the nurses touch her or come near her, so I sat by her night and day — night and day, I sat! Oh, it was a terrible time! My heart aches even now when I think of it, after all these years. Poor little Susy! She died before we could ever sail [Lawton 137].

Link to Epoch, Episode and Chapter

Day By Day Acknowledgment

Mark Twain Day By Day was originally a print reference, meticulously created by David Fears, who has generously made this work available, via the Center for Mark Twain Studies, as a digital edition.