Twain in his
honorary Oxford regalia

Volume 52, Spring

 

 

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      Having caught up with a publication schedule that had fallen behind owing to the illness and death of the much-missed previous editor, Thomas A. Tenney, the Mark Twain Journal now resumes its twice-yearly appearance. It was necessary to put together five double issues in rapid succession in order to bring the journal back to its calendar schedule. We thank the libraries and subscribers who loyally kept pace with our temporarily accelerated output.

     The contents of this Spring 2014 issue primarily explore aspects of the final decade and a half of Clemens’s life. Tsuyoshi Ishihara has visited and photographed the sites of the two villas in Florence that Clemens rented, and more than anything else Ishihara’s descriptions bring into focus the enormity and elaborateness of these scenic residences. Although his temporary homes could not provide the relief from cares that Clemens was desperately seeking, their vistas and other charms at least enabled him to continue writing.

     Matthew D. Klauza returns to our pages (his “Mark Twain, Homesickness, and Hannibal” essay appeared in Volume 48) with a careful examination of a 1903 Twain manuscript so little known that its very title has remained unclear. Michael Crews proposes a new reading of certain passages of Twain’s What Is Man? Patrick K. Dooley traces Twain’s concepts of what he termed “conscience” in several of his works, especially Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and What Is Man?

     Beginning with this issue, the Mark Twain Journal is commencing a new feature, “Legacy Scholars,” designed to summarize the achievements of those who have made a long-term impact on the field of Mark Twain studies. David E. E. Sloane has been selected as the inaugural Legacy Scholar, and a synopsis of his work and its influence has been prepared by John Bird. This recognition is intended as a token of the debt that a great many of us owe to David Sloane’s innovative publications. One of the main purposes of the series will be to acquaint the younger generations of students and professors with those who have shaped Mark Twain scholarship in significant ways.

     The Mark Twain Journal also wishes to take note of the passing of Beverly R. David, the first scholar to study in detail the illustrations in the first editions of Twain’s books and the artists behind them. Barbara Schmidt has written a tribute to help readers appreciate “Penny” David’s insights.

     Alas, for the first time in memory the Mark Twain Journal has to acknowledge that an important passage was inadvertently omitted in a recent article in Volume 51. In order to fulfill our obligation to both the author and our readers, we have added extra pages to this present issue in order to include a corrected version of Lawrence I. Berkove’s essay about “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg.”

     The editors are grateful to graduate students Heather Adams and Deric Sallas for their excellent assistance in putting together the present issue.

   

 

 

David E. E. Sloane
Mark Twain Journal Legacy Scholar

  

 

Villa di Quarto, 2013
(Courtesy of Tsuyoshi Ishihara)

  

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