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    Description

    Samuel Clemens "Mark Twain" Autograph Letter Signed "Lovingly, Father" to his Daughter Jean, one page, [no place, no date, possibly New York City circa 1907] on the verso of a color photochromed image of Mark Twain which includes a visual illusion of a child whispering into his ear created by the pillow upon which his head is resting. This Raphael Tuck and Sons postal card has a printed poem titled "Mark Twain's Muse" about the illusional child by L. J. Bridgman on the verso. Twain has filled in the entire blank portion of the card, both message side and address side, with 17 lines of his handwriting in bold ink:

    "Jean dear, do you remember this picture with the accidental child in it? This is made in Germany, and is good work. I am so glad, so very glad, to hear that you are cheerful and happy, and are going to fight it out on Dr. Peterson's lines and help him in every way you can to push your improvement along to a cure. Lovingly / Father"

    This amazing letter was hand delivered by someone (perhaps Jean's doctor, Dr. Peterson) at a time when Twain was likely forbidden to visit by doctor's orders. Jean, the youngest of Twain's daughters, was diagnosed with epilepsy during her teenage years. A little understood illness, Jean's epilepsy made her care impossible for Twain and daughter Clara after the death of Livy. Jean was sent away from home to be cared for by doctors in 1906, and it was likely during her years away from home that Twain sent this letter. It is remarkable that this intimate letter survived under these circumstances. The reference to her illness is especially poignant and captures a private moment of Twain's sorrow for his inability to care for her. Jean would return to the Twain household in April 1909. She passed away later that year on the morning of Christmas Eve, 1909 from an epileptic seizure. Mark Twain's death would follow a mere four months later.

    With light soiling, gentle creasing at a single corner, and a few spots of toning all of which primarily affect the verso; otherwise near fine.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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