January 09, 1898

Olivia Clemens Quotes “Mr. Clemens” - Mark Twain - About a Phrase in “Following the Equator”

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Having worked with her husband-to-be on the galleys on Innocents Abroad, Livy Clemens as good as had printers ink on her fingers from the moment she married “Mark Twain.” In this brief letter, she quotes “Mr. Clemens” in regard to a question Bliss had posed about a quotation concerning Mauritius in Following the Equator:
 
Mr. Clemens asks me to say regarding your letter of Dec. 24th that the quotation on page 619 "In the West Indies" is quite correct. He thinks if Mr. Robinson will read the context carefully he will see that West Indies is what was intended.
 
The quote, of an anonymous English citizen, reads as published:
 
“In the early part of this century Mauritius was used by the French as a basis from which to operate against England’s Indian merchantmen; so England captured the island and also the neighbor, Bourbon, to stop that annoyance. England gave Bourbon back; the government in London did not want any more possession in the West Indies.”
 
Mrs. Clemens also notes the delivery of some six books, and expresses her happiness that the sale of the book – assumedly Following the Equator, which had just come out in November 1897 - has been satisfactory.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 pages, octavo, on black-bordered mourning stationery, Hotel Metropole, Vienna, January 9, 1898. To Walter Bliss.

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Transcript

Walter Bliss, Esq.

Dear Sir:

Mr Clemens asks me to say regarding your letter of Dec. 24th that the quotation on page 619 "In the West Indies" is quite correct.

He thinks if Mr. Robinson will read the context carefully he will see that West  Indies is what was intended.

The six books have arrived safely and we thank you for sending them.
 
I am very glad the sale of the book has been satisfactory.

Believe me
Yours truly
 
OLIVIA L. CLEMENS

Jan. 9th 1898
Hotel Metropole
Vienna