ARCHIVE OF TWO AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED (ALSs) with Fine Content to Frank Holme with Material from the Bandar Log Press. Mark TWAIN, Samuel CLEMENS.

ARCHIVE OF TWO AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED (ALSs) with Fine Content to Frank Holme with Material from the Bandar Log Press

Riverdale on the Hudson and New York City: 4 January 1902 and 29 July 1904. Letters. Archive of 6 pieces including two AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED with excellent content, one letter referencing a famous passage of his and the other a poignant unpublished letter pertaining to his wife Olivia who had died the previous month. Both letters by Clemens are on small (3-1/2" x 5" and 3-1/2" x 6") pieces of mourning stationery written to John Francis "Frank" Holme, a newspaper sketch artist who covered the trials of Adolph Luetgert for the CHICAGO DAILY NEWS. Holme was also a writer and printer who founded a publishing endeavor called the Bandar Log Press. Clemens and Holme were friends, and Clemens was among those who contributed financially to the project. The earliest letter from Clemens to Holme is dated 4 January 1902 from Riverdale on the Hudson. Clemens moved his family to Riverdale from Hartford after their beloved daughter Suzy had died there in 1896 while Clemens and his wife were abroad. They never set foot in their Hartford home again. In full: "I rather admire that oesophogus myself, Mr. Holme, especially because it caught-out the Editor of the Magazine & he sent to ask if I had not made a mistake. Very truly yours, Mark Twain." The reference undoubtedly refers to the well-known quote from A DOUBLE BARRELLED DETECTIVE STORY published in HARPER'S MONTHLY in January and February of 1902: "...far in the empty sky a solitary oesophagus slept upon motionless wing." In a letter to the SPRINGFIELD (MA) REPUBLICAN near the time of publication, Clemens stated, "I published a short story lately & it was in that that I put the oesophagus. I will say privately that I expected it to bother some people--in fact, that was the intention--but the harvest has been larger than I was calculating upon. The oesophagus has gathered in the guilty and the innocent alike, whereas I was only fishing for the innocent-- the innocent and confiding." When the story was published in book form later that year, Clemens included some of the letters he received from puzzled readers of the magazine inquiring about the "solitary oesophagus." The later letter by Clemens to Holme, dated 29 July 1904, makes a poignant reference to his wife's recent death: "Dear Mr. Holme: I am exceedingly glad to be a Bandar Log & own stock, and I send my best thanks. The 'stuff' has reached me, & I highly prize it. Immeasurable disaster has befallen me since the La Shelles were under my roof, & this has changed my permanent address. Sincerely yours, S.L. Clemens." At the top Clemens has written, "Permanent address: c/o H. H. Rogers, 26 Broadway New York City." Olivia's death just the month before had hit Clemens hard. The night of her death, Clemens wrote in his notebook, "At a quarter past 9 this evening she that was the life of my life passed to the relief & the peace of death after as months of unjust & unearned suffering. I first saw her near 37 years ago, & now I have looked upon her face for the last time. Oh, so unexpected!... I was full of remorse for things done & said in these 34 years of married life that hurt Livy's heart." The H. H. Rogers Clemens refers to is Henry H. Rogers, the Standard Oil magnate who saved Clemens from financial ruin as well as copyright violations and who became his unlikely friend during the writer's darkest hours. Clemens also makes mention of the La Shelles, a reference to playwright Kirke La Shelle who was also Treasurer of the Bandar Log Press. This letter also comes with the envelope addressed by Clemens. Also included in the archive are two copies of the first Bandar Log Press book: HANDSOME CYRIL OR THE MESSENGER BOY WITH THE WARM FEET by George Ade. One is a prospectus, without the color covers and with the text ending at page 14 with the printed notice: "(The continuation of this deeply interesting story will be found in No. 1 of the Strenuous Lads Library. For particulars see next page." That page gives details of the various printings that will be available. The other copy is the finished product, a limited edition copy hand numbered 412 of 674. Holme has written in this copy a note to his sister, "Mrs. Nan Gerstell, Merry Christmas from her brother the printer 1903." The book also comes with a transmittal Bandar Log Press envelope hand addressed by Holme. The books are very scarce, especially the prospectus. The Bandar Log Press envelope is quite fragile with chipping along the edges. The remaining material is Near Fine. Item #020654

Price: $9,500.00