[Mark Twain]. Samuel Clemens Autograph Letter SignedClick the image to load the highest resolution version.
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Description[Mark Twain]. Samuel Clemens Autograph Letter Signed "Father." Two pages of a bifolium on black-bordered mourning paper, 4.5" x 6.75", Dublin, New Hampshire; circa October 1905. Addressed to his daughter, Clara, regarding the management of his estate and care of her younger sister Jean. Clemens' wife Olivia had recently died the year prior, which would account for the use of mourning stationery. The letter reads, in full:
"It shall be just as you prefer, Dear heart. If she is in the house from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m., I think that that will answer my needs. It will be best to tell her when you see her, no doubt. Clara dear, assume full & sole authority in the house. Require that all complaints be brought to you – none to any one else. Allow no one but yourself to scold or correct a servant. All of this is for Jean's sake, & to keep her out of trouble – particularly with Ugo. I do not think she has trouble, now, with the others. It delights me to know you are so happy & contented, & able to work; & I hope there will be no bar to you going to Hackensack. I said a cordial yes to MacAlister, but I added no condolences, because I had already telegraphed Col. Harvey to attend to that for me. A kiss & a hug & a goodbye, dear, it is dinner time." Accompanying the letter is the original transmittal cover, addressed in Clemens' hand.
Clemens was deeply depressed by the death of his wife and grieved her loss for numerous years. Still, he continued to produce various works, including "Eve's Diary" and "Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes". Meanwhile, his daughter Clara, a famed concert singer, managed his estate in his absence. Her sister Jean suffered from epilepsy and was prone to erratic behavior and violent mood swings. The following year she attacked the family maid two separate times. Her illness eventually led to her death, when she drowned in a bathtub following an epileptic seizure. Clara would be the only child to survive her father.
Condition: Flattened mail folds. There is a small spot of soiling on the second page. Usual wear and soiling to the transmittal cover.
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