Mark Twain and the Jews
I am looking at a facsimile of The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Essays, dated 1900. The print is large and clear, the margins generous. There is a frontispiece photograph of the author, Mark Twain, captioned “S.L. Clemens.” The copyright, curiously, is not in the name of S.L. Clemens (or of his pseudonym), but in that of Olivia L. Clemens, his wife. (She died in 1904, predeceasing him by six years.)
The fifteen items in the Table of Contents disclose their sources; of periodicals once renowned (Harper’s Magazine, the Century, the Cosmopolitan, the New York World, the Youth’s Companion, the Forum, McClure’s, and the North American Review), only Harper’s recognizably survives. The several illustrations (artist unidentified), with their captions excerpted from the text, are redolent of 19th-century charm—the charm of skilled and evocative drawings—and may make us nostalgic for a practice long in disuse: every tale equipped with its visual interpretation.
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