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Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884

Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge

Julian Hawthorne to Samuel L. Clemens
31 March 1884 • Sag Harbor, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41951)

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Sag Harbor L. I. March 31st 1884

My dear Clemens

I have an idea of following the prevailing fashion, and starting an autograph book: and by way of benediction to the enterprise, I wish to begin with yours. I may never get beyond that: but even then I shall have half ended what was so well begun. If you can find nothing better to do therefore, do sit down and dash me off View Page
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something characteristic and brilliant and meanwhile believe me

Always cordially yours

Julian Hawthorne.

Saml. Clemens Esq.


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Samuel Clemens Esq. | Hartford | Conn. [postmarked:] sag [har]bor apr 1 1884 n. y. [docketed by SLC, in pencil:] Julian Hawthorne

Textual Commentary

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

Persons Mentioned

Julian Hawthorne  (1846–1934)

Julian Hawthorne, the son of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody, was a noted journalist and writer in his own right (mostly of mystery stories), and Clemens's library eventually included his 1885 novel Noble Blood and his 1903 study of his father, Hawthorne and His Circle (Gribben, Mark Twain's Library, p. 1:301). He met Clemens in the early 1870s and remained good friends with him until his death. During this time he was also employed as the literary editor of the New York World. They both belonged to the American Copyright League and the Authors Club. About his friendship with Clemens, Hawthorne recalled that "I found him as most people did, delightful and fruitful, and very much as he was in his best writing," adding that "He never seemed to be a very happy man ... his mind was too active, searching out and sincere not to be troubled by the riddle of the Universe" ("Mark Twain as I Knew Him," Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine 87 [April 1929]: 111).