Twain in his
honorary Oxford regalia

Volume 51

Charlie Webster




     Legacy Scholars

     Elmira Conference (Video)


     47-Quaker City



     50-Pen Name

     51-Charlie Webster

     52.1-Italian Villas



     53.2-Mississippi River

     54.1-MT Kills

     54.2-Mac Donnell

     55-Film Homage


     56.2-Legacy Directors

     57.1-Huckleberry Finn, The Musical

     57.2-Clemens's Signature



     Back Issues



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      KEVIN MAC DONNELL'S much-publicized "How Samuel Clemens Found 'Mark Twain'" (Mark Twain Journal, Volume 50) was summarized by Daniel Hernandez in the Los Angeles Review of Books, went viral on, and subsequently was referenced by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New Yorker, and other publications. Hard on the heels of that discovery comes another breakthrough piece by MAC DONNELL in this current issue that uncovers the actual circumstances behind the mysterious illness and early death of Clemens's nephew by marriage, Charles L. Webster. Again the Mark Twain Journal has the privilege of helping solve one of the many remaining biographical puzzles in the complex web of Clemens family relationships.

     Within various writings set in American small-town locales were embedded Twain's latent lessons about the precarious balance between honesty and evil, and LAWRENCE I. BERKOVE explores the less obvious implications of one of Twain's most often-reprinted short stories in "The Dark Hoaxes of 'The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.'" [See the next issue--52 Spring 2014--for a corrected version of this essay.]

     In "Mark Twain's Dream Life" PHILIP E. DAVIS investigates several writings of the later years, especially The Mysterious Stranger, "Which Was the Dream?," and " The Great Dark." Davis takes into account the theories of William James and other philosophers about the possible validity of dream selves.

     The late DARRYL BASKIN left behind an unpublished manuscript, "Boss Morgan: Mark Twain and American Political Culture,' that still holds up well after two decades. Its positioning of Twain's novel within American political history reminds readers of the extent of our loss from Baskin's early death.

     The seventh ELMIRA COLLEGE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE STATE OF MARK TWAIN STUDIES in August 2013 brought together a large number of Mark Twain scholars and fans. A brief summary and a few photographs are included in this issue. Elmira College will more fully record the event in their publications, starting with the elaborate program that printed abstracts of all the participants' presentations.

     An increasing number of books are arriving at the Mark Twain Journal to be listed and digested in its "BOOKS RECEIVED" section. Starting with this issue, a thumbnail photograph of their covers will also be included.

     A number of subscribers sent helpful notes to BARBARA SCHMIDT after her "Memorial Roster of Mark Twain Scholars" appeared in Volume 49 of the Mark Twain Journal. This response has resulted in an "Addenda" in this present issue of more than a dozen more names along with their vital statistics and Twain connections.

     MICHAEL V. ECKMAN'S "Mark Twain and the American Civil War" takes another look at Sam Clemens's uncomfortable relationship with the main historical event of his era. The several renditions of his brief participation display inconsistencies, partly because of his instinctive fictionalizing but also on account of his discomfort over the necessity of rubbing elbows with men who had risked their lives in combat.

     ROBERT STEWART'S deep familiarity with Clemens's Western years is again on display in "Sam Clemens's Friends at Lake Tahoe," in which Stewart traces the background of the companions who joined Clemens in a short-lived scheme to make a fortune by claiming and logging the timber along one shore of the pristine lake.

     The next issue of the Mark Twain Journal that will appear after this present one will be the first number of Volume 52, scheduled for publication in the early months of 2014. It is a great relief to be caught up with the announced publication schedule printed on the Journal's covers. We want to thank all of the individual subscribers and librarians who stuck with MTJ during a rapid acceleration that saw it edit, print, and distribute five double-issue volumes (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2103) in only twenty months in order to reach this point. Now we can return to the twice-yearly format except for occasional special double-issues.




Charlie Webster
(McKinney Family Papers, Collections Library, Vassar College)






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