Mark Twain

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Mark Twain

Autograph Letter Signed & Postcard - 1892

Letter written from the Hotel Royal in Berlin, addressed to Chatto & Windus Publishers, one page, 5.5 x 8.5, February 18, 1892. In full:

My Dear C&W:

Who is Mr. Kingscote? He keeps writing me. If an answer is due him, I will furnish it – otherwise not. Please inquire about him for me.

In a week I shall be well enough to travel – no, in 10 days. Then I shall go to the Riviera for my health.

I haven’t seen the “Idler” yet. [The Idler was a play by C. Haddon Chambers that was quite popular at the time].

Yours sincerely,
S. L. Clemens

Address after end of February
c/o Brown Shipley & Co

[line drawn through Brown Shipley & Co]
Drexel Hardjes & Co., Paris.

SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS (MARK TWAIN) (1835-1910). Clemens was the notable literary figure in Berlin that winter, the center of every great gathering. He was entertained by the Kaiser earlier in the month, and shown many special attentions by Germans of every rank. One night, after delivering a lecture in a hot room, he contracted a severe cold, driving to a ball at General von Versen’s, and a few days after was confined to his bed with pneumonia.

Accompanied by a postcard addressed to Clemens from the aforementioned A. F. Kingscote, sent two days before Clemens’ letter:

[To:] S. Clemens Esqre (alias Mark Twain)
Hotel Royal, Berlin

Oxford Union Society, Oxford

I sincerely trust that you are getting better. My letter of the 4th reached you quite safely, I trust? It will give me great satisfaction to hear from you yrself (sic) soon how you really feel: for I was truly sorry to hear by the daily journals how ill you’d been.

Believe me, dr sir yrs very truly
A. F. Kingscote

Curiously, Clemens’ letter to his publishers, no doubt written during his time of bed rest, asks them to find out who Mr. Kingscote is even though Kingscote’s postcard inquiring about Clemens’ health suggests a level of familiarity with him.

In very good condition, with intersecting folds, several professional repairs to tears on reverse, scattered toning, creasing, and wrinkling, and a vertical fold through a single letter of signature.

The photo shown here was taken of Clemens in Berlin 1892, about the time he wrote this letter (Photo not included in sale, used only for timeline reference).



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