Lot 29: Clemens, Samuel Langhorne. Autograph letter signed ("S L Clemens"), 2 pages, 15 December 1905.
July 11, 2014
Calabasas, CA, USALive Auction
29. Clemens, Samuel Langhorne. Autograph letter signed (“S L Clemens”), 2 pages (6.12 x 3.87 in.; 156 x 98 mm.), 15 December 1905, to an unnamed recipient in Vienna; on his 21 Fifth Avenue engraved mourning stationery.
Clemens explains his pseudoynym, “Mark Twain” with great detail.
Clemens writes in full: My Dear Sir: I am very glad indeed to have a copy of that cordial and complimentary appreciation, & I thank you for sending it. Coming from anywhere it would be gratifying: coming from Vienna, where I spent so many pleasant months & knew so many delightful people, it is peculiarly & especially welcome. I have been writing for the history of the “Mark Twain,” & at last I have found it in chapter 50 of my book called “Old Times on The Mississippi.” It is all set down there & rather lengthily: but to state it in a word, I took the name from the leadsman’s cry: it means 2 fathoms, 12 feet. Very sincerely yours SL. Clemens. $5,000 - $7,000