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Lot #377
Samuel L. Clemens

After meeting with the Kaiser in Berlin, Clemens contracts pneumonia and¬†writes his publisher, “In a week I shall be well enough to travel - no, in 10 days. Then I shall go to the Riviera for my health.”

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Description

After meeting with the Kaiser in Berlin, Clemens contracts pneumonia and¬†writes his publisher, “In a week I shall be well enough to travel - no, in 10 days. Then I shall go to the Riviera for my health.”

ALS signed “S. L. Clemens,” one page, 5.5 x 8.5, February 18. Letter written from the Hotel Royal in Berlin, addressed to “C[hatto] & W[indus Publishers].” In full, “Who is Mr. Kingscote? He keeps writing me. If an answer is due him, I will furnish it - otherwise not. Please inquire about him for me. In a week I shall be well enough to travel - no, in 10 days. Then I shall go to the Riviera for my health. I haven’t seen the “Idler” yet [this was a play by C. Haddon Chambers who was quite popular at that time].” Under his signature, Clemens adds, “Address after end of February, c/o Brown Shipley & Co [line drawn through Brown Shipley & Co] Drexel Harjes & Co., Paris.” Clemens was the notable literary figure in Berlin that winter, the center of every great gathering. He was entertained by the Kaiser earlier in the month, and shown many special attentions by Germans of every rank. One night, after delivering a lecture in a hot room, he contracted a severe cold, driving to a ball at General von Versen's, and a few days later was confined to his bed with pneumonia. Accompanied by a postcard addressed to Clemens from the aforementioned A. F. Kingscote, sent two days before Clemens’s letter: “I sincerely trust that you are getting better. My letter of 4th reached you quite safely, I trust? It will give me great satisfaction to hear from you yrself (sic) soon how you really feel: for I was truly sorry to hear by the daily journals how ill you'd been.” Clemens’ letter to his publishers, no doubt written during his time of bed rest, asks them to find out who Mr. Kingscote is even though Kingscote's postcard inquiring about Clemens' health suggests a level of familiarity with him! In very good condition, with intersecting folds, several professional repairs to tears on reverse, scattered toning, creasing, and wrinkling, and a vertical fold through a single letter of signature. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #332 - Ended April 16, 2008