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Autograph note to [Elisha] Bliss dated Nov. 30/[18]99 regarding Following the Equator
: , 1899. - To And Of The Publishers Twain Loved To HateTWAIN, Mark (1835-1910). Autograph note written in black ink to [Elisha] Bliss dated Nov. 30/[18]99 regarding Following the Equator (1 page). Together with a clipped signature "S.L. Clemens / Mark Twain" and a portrait photograph, and illustrated plate [ca. 1899]. Framed and glazed."Nov. 30/99 / Dear Bliss: / Please send me in care Chatto, a copy of "Following The Equator" / How does the Harper assignment affect you - to your inquiry or otherwise. / Truly yours / SLC"Elisha Bliss (1822-1880) was Twain''s first publisher; his American Publishing Company was a by subscription only publishing house that from 1867 through 1880 issued all of Twain's books.In a study of Bliss, Mark Twain and Elisha Bliss (1964), "Hamlin Hill argues that Bliss 'was coldly calculating, he was happy to cheat both authors and customers with a repertory of the worst tricks of salesmanship, and he apparently juggled books with the skill of a master accountant.' In brief, Clemens learned the rudiments of literary business under the tutelage of a tougher, less ethical, more opportunistic taskmaster than Horace Bixby had ever been in teaching a cub pilot the course of the Mississippi River. That harsher education had begun on 21 November 1867 with a letter from Bliss soliciting "a work of some kind" from newspaper correspondent Clemens (MT&EB, p. 23). Although Clemens flirted with the idea of changing publishers during the mid-1870s, Bliss managed to sell 337,902 volumes for Mark Twain between 1869 and 1879 (p. 157); it was only Bliss’ death on 28 September 1880 that truly freed Clemens, for the next fourteen years, from the American Publishing Company Essentially Clemens’ efforts at finagling lucrative contracts for his prose were efficacious; he earned vastly more money than most of his contemporaries who wrote, and he even succeeded in keeping Elisha Bliss more watchful and honest than he might otherwise have been. Clemens’ London publisher proved especially diligent in procuring and promoting his works" (Gribben, Alan. MARK TWAIN, BUSINESS MAN: THE MARGINS OF PROFIT. Studies in American Humor, compedit.com/mark_twain,_business.htm)Twain's London publisher was Andrew Chatto (1841-1913).
      [Bookseller: David Brass Rare Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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