Complete Letters of Mark Twain

MARK TWAIN’S LETTERS COMPLETE

ARRANGED WITH COMMENT BY ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE

MARK TWAIN’S LETTERS 1853-1866

VOLUME I

FOREWORD

Nowhere is the human being more truly revealed than in his letters.
Not in literary letters–prepared with care, and the thought of possible
publication–but in those letters wrought out of the press of
circumstances, and with no idea of print in mind.  A collection of such
documents, written by one whose life has become of interest to mankind at
large, has a value quite aside from literature, in that it reflects in
some degree at least the soul of the writer.

The letters of Mark Twain are peculiarly of the revealing sort.  He was a
man of few restraints and of no affectations.  In his correspondence,
as in his talk, he spoke what was in his mind, untrammeled by literary
conventions.

Necessarily such a collection does not constitute a detailed life story,
but is supplementary to it.  An extended biography of Mark Twain has
already been published.  His letters are here gathered for those who wish
to pursue the subject somewhat more exhaustively from the strictly
personal side.  Selections from this correspondence were used in the
biography mentioned.  Most of these are here reprinted in the belief that
an owner of the “Letters” will wish the collection to be reasonably
complete.

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