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Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884

Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge

Daniel Frohman to Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41870)

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madison square theatre

mr. m. h. mallory, . . . proprietor

daniel frohman, . . . manager

new york, March 31 1884

My dear Mr. Clemens—

I have seldom encroached upon your good nature. I have never asked you even to write me a play, much as I should like to see you come to the front in that respect.

But I do ask you to consider whether you can submit me your autograph. We will dramatize it and adapt it to the stage

Very truly

Danl. Frohman[1]


Mr. Saml. Clemens.


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Mr. Saml. Clemens | Forest st | Hartford | Conn. [return address:] madison square theatre | new york | mr. m. h. mallory, . . . proprietor. [postmarked:] new yo[rk] mar 3[1] 5 pm 84 [docketed by SLC, in pencil:] Danl. Frohman | average

Explanatory Notes

1. Only two years later he took up Frohman's offer to do a play: in 1886 Frohman produced the stage version of Colonel Sellers (based on The Gilded Age). In 1890 he would put on Abby Sage Richardson's adaptation of the The Prince and the Pauper, which caused Clemens to file suit (an event that apparently did not harm their relationship significantly). In 1907 he and Clemens worked together to put on a children's production of The Prince and the Pauper. [back]

Textual Commentary

Copy-text:The Mark Twain Papers, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley (CU-MARK).

Persons Mentioned

Daniel Frohman  (1851–1940)

Charles Frohman's older brother, Daniel, started his career as an office boy for the New York Tribune, and then spent five years as a journalist before managing touring companies for New York City theaters. In 1880 he organized the Lyceum Theater, which made him famous (and many other actors, such as E. H. Sothern, Henry Miller, and May Robson). He was also a member of the Players Club, where Clemens would also appear. In 1911 Frohman published his Memoirs of a Manager. He also played a role in the early film industry with the Famous Players Film Company.