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Mark Twain's Love Letters

(TWAIN, MARK.) CLEMENS, SAMUEL L.. The Love Letters of Mark Twain

New York: Harper, 1949

Original black cloth, dust jacket. Slipcase. A fine copy.

First edition of Samuel Clemens’s wonderful love letters to his wife Livy, signed by the author both “S. L. Clemens” and “Mark Twain” on the tipped-in limitation sheet. This is one of 155 numbered copies of the deluxe limited edition. The leaf also bears the notice, “these signatures of Mark Twain have been in the possession of Harper & Brothers for fifty years. There are no more.”

These letters span the years from the couple’s initial courtship in 1868 through Livy’s death in 1904. In his long first letter to Livy, who had rebuffed him, Clemens writes in small part, “I do not regret that I have loved you, still love & shall always love you. I accept the situation, uncomplainingly, hard as it is. Of old I am acquaint- ed with grief, disaster & disappointment, & have borne these troubles as became a man. So, also, shall I bear this last & bitterest, even though it break my heart. I would not dishonor this worthiest love that has yet been born within me by any puerile thought, or word, or deed. It is better to have loved and lost you than that my life should have remained forever the blank it was before …”

$12,500