Letters of Mark Twain, Complete cover

Letters of Mark Twain, Complete

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

1. 00 - Forward; Mark Twain--A Biographical Summary
2. 01 - Vol. I, Chp. I
3. 02 - Vol. I, Chp. II
4. 03 - Vol. I, Chp. III (part 1)
5. 04 - Vol. I, Chp. III (part 2)
6. 05 - Vol. I, Chp. IV
7. 06 - Vol. I, Chp. V
8. 07 - Vol. I, Chp. VI
9. 08 - Vol. II, Chp. VII
10. 09 - Vol. II, Chp. VIII
11. 10 - Vol. II, Chp. IX
12. 11 - Vol. II, Chp. X
13. 12 - Vol. II, Chp. XI
14. 13 - Vol. II, Chp. XII
15. 14 - Vol. II, Chp. XIII
16. 15 - Vol. II, Chp. XIV
17. 16 - Vol. II, Chp. XV
18. 17 - Vol. III, Chp. XVI
19. 18 - Vol. III, Chp. XVII
20. 19 - Vol. III, Chp. XVIII
21. 20 - Vol. III, Chp. XIX (part 1)
22. 21 - Vol. III, Chp. XIX (part 2)
23. 22 - Vol. III, Chp. XX
24. 23 - Vol. III, Chp. XXI
25. 24 - Vol. III, Chp. XXII
26. 25 - Vol. III, Chp. XXIII
27. 26 - Vol. III, Chp. XXIV
28. 27 - Vol. III, Chp. XXV
29. 28 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXVI
30. 29 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXVII
31. 30 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXVIII
32. 31 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXIX
33. 32 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXX
34. 33 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXXI
35. 34 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXXII
36. 35 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXXIII
37. 36 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXXIV
38. 37 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXXV
39. 38 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXXVI
40. 39 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXXVII
41. 40 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXXVIII
42. 41 - Vol. IV, Chp. XXXIX
43. 42 - Vol. V, Chp. XL
44. 43 - Vol. V, Chp. XLI
45. 44 - Vol. V, Chp. XLII
46. 45 - Vol. V, Chp. XLIII
47. 46 - Vol. V, Chp. XLIV
48. 47 - Vol. V, Chp. XLV
49. 48 - Vol. VI, Chp. XLVI
50. 49 - Vol. VI, Chp. XLVII
51. 50 - Vol. VI, Chp. XLVIII

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Summary

These letters were arranged in two volumes by Albert Bigelow Paine, Samuel L. Clemens's literary executor, as a supplement to Mark Twain, A Biography, which Paine wrote. They are, for the most part, every letter written by Clemens known to exist at the time of their publication in 1917. They begin with a fragment of a letter from teenaged Sam Clemens to his sister, Pamela, and conclude with a letter to his attorney two weeks before his death. These letters give us some degree of insight into the evolution of Twain's style of speech and prose over the period of his lifetime; they are a small window into the psyche that created the various characters of his stories. But they also reveal the tragedies of his life: the lack of success in his business ventures, the passing of family. And as I read each one in this collection, I can almost detect the faint odor of one of his “devilish” cigars wafting across the room. (Introduction by James K. White)