Lot 621: Handwritten manuscript by Clemens, signed within the text, "Mark Twain," one page, 5.75 x 8.75, circa 1908. Clemens writes down a 'compliment' on a sheet labeled "4" at the top, entitled "Little Montana Girl's Compliment." In full: "She was gazing thoughtfully at a photograph of Mark Twain on a neighbor's mantelpiece. Presently she said, reverently, 'We've got a Jesus like that at home, only ours has more trimmings.'" In fine condition, with a chip to the top edge.The Lotos Club, one of the oldest literary clubs in the United States, hosted a dinner in honor of longtime member Samuel L. Clemens on January 11, 1908, at which he announced that he had 'become a collector of compliments' and read a few to the others guests. The following day's New York Times mentions that he began by reading compliments from Albert Bigelow Paine, W. D. Howells, and Thomas Edison, before going on to read the "Little Montana Girl's Compliment." The NY Times quotes the compliment as presented here, but replaces "Jesus" with 'John the Baptist.' This manuscript was likely Clemens's reading copy for the event, as the "4" page number at the top corresponds with the Times article's description of the order of his reading at the event. A wonderful piece that showcases Clemens's humor and quick wit.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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