Samuel Langhorne Clemens ["Mark Twain"]

Samuel Langhorne Clemens ["Mark Twain"] (1835–1910)
Autograph letter signed, Dublin, New Hampshire, to Mrs. Benjamin, August 29, 1906
3 pages, with a separate 1-page note describing a series of seven silver gelatin print portrait photographs
Purchased on the John F. Fleming Fund
MA 7252 and MA 7253

Twain's cover letter, sent with these seven photographs, explains that the series registers "with scientific precision, stage by stage, the progress of a moral purpose through the mind of the human race's Oldest Friend." The author relaxes in a rocking chair on a porch in Dublin, New Hampshire, chiefly smoking a cigar. To further animate the portraits, Twain inscribed each print with a continuous caption unfolding his thought process, concluding with mock self-contentment: "Oh, never mind, I reckon I'm good enough just as I am." In the accompanying letter Twain joked to his friend Mrs. Benjamin that, this "series of moral photographs" could be displayed in her daughter's room to provide moral instruction. The photographs are a vivid example of Twain's playful and humorous presentation of his public persona.

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