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Mark Twain: April Fool, 1884

Edited by Leslie Myrick and Christopher Ohge

Stephen Fiske to Samuel L. Clemens
1 April 1884 • New York, N.Y.
(MS: CU-MARK, UCLC 41988)

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the spirit of the times,

e. a. buck editor and publisher,

102 chambers st., (address p. o. box 938.)

new york, April 1 18824

Dear Mark Twain:

Will you kindly send your autograph by return [1] for a friend who is going to Europe and wishes to take it along as a mascot?

Yours Faithfully,

Stephen Fiske


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Sam'l Clemens, Esq., | "Mark Twain" | Hartford | Conn. [return address:] return to | kitsell house, | new york. [postmarked:] new york mar 31 12 m f 84 [docketed by SLC, in pencil:] Stephen Fiske | good

Explanatory Notes

1. Clemens added "mail" in pencil. [back]

Textual Commentary

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

Persons Mentioned

Stephen Ryder Fiske  (1840–1916)

Fiske was a journalist, drama critic, and theater manager who started his career with the New York Herald. After the Civil War he lived in Rome, where he joined Garibaldi, and then moved to London, where he became the manager of the Royal English Opera Company. Returning to New York City in 1874, he managed the Fifth Avenue Theatre (where Madame Modjeska made her famous debut), contributed dramatic criticism to The Spirit of the Times, and started the New York Dramatic Mirror. He married the writer Mary Fox in 1875. He was also known for several plays, including Corporal Cartouche, Martin Chuzzlewit, and My Noble Son-in-Law. He was a noted member of Pfaff's cellar, having established himself during the Civil War as a "Pfaff's bohemian."