Three circulars from 1869, the first distributed by the Boston Lyceum Bureau and the others by the American Publishing Company, are reproduced here in facsimile. Clemens collaborated in the preparation of all of them and discussed them in his correspondence with James Redpath and Elisha Bliss.
Prepared by James Redpath during May and June of 1869, this circular was intended to attract lecture engagements for Mark Twain during the 1869–70 season. It was in large part made up of press notices from the previous season’s tour. Redpath, who solicited copies of reviews from Clemens on 24 April 1869 (see 10 May 69 and 14 and 17 May 69, both to Redpath), eventually included eight extracts from seven newspapers: the Cleveland Herald (“Mark Twain and the Orphans,” 23 Jan 69, 3, and “Library Association—Lecture of ‘Mark Twain,’” 18 Nov 68, 8, the latter by Mary Mason Fairbanks [identified in the circular as “Another Cleveland journalist”]); the Newark (N.J.) Courier (probably 10 Dec 68); the Chicago Times (“The American Vandal Abroad,” 8 Jan 69, 3; misidentified as the Tribune); the Brooklyn Eagle (“Mark Twain on the Sandwich Islands,” 11 May 67, 3); the Detroit Advertiser and Tribune (“Mark Twain’s Lecture,” 23 Dec 68, no page; misidentified as the Republican); the Toledo Commercial (“Mark Twain,” 21 Jan 69, no page); and the Chicago Tribune (“Mark Twain,” 8 Jan 69, 4; misidentified as the Republican). .
In early July 1869, before publication of The Innocents Abroad, the American Publishing Company prepared a four-page circular to advertise the book, in part from reviews of Clemens’s 1868–69 lecture tour. The first page of the circular, entitled “Opinions of the Press,” published reviews from the Cleveland Herald (Mary Mason Fairbanks, “Library Association—Lecture of ‘Mark Twain,’” 18 Nov 68, 1), the Toledo Blade (“Mark Twain’s Lecture,” 21 Jan 69, 4), the Sharon (Pa.) Times or Herald (24 or 27 Mar 69), and an unidentified Chicago newspaper (8? Jan 69). It also quoted the Elmira Gazette (27? Apr 69), which had praised The Innocents Abroad on the basis of “advance sheets,” and the Fort Plain (N. Y.) Mohawk Valley Register (9 Apr? 69). Several days after Clemens received a sample copy of the circular, however, Frank Bliss of the American Publishing Company wrote that they were making corrections “in the plates” (see 12 July 69 to Elisha Bliss, n. 1). The corrections consisted of a revised and redesigned page 2 and several minor alterations to page 3. The revised circular was later incorporated into the sales prospectuses for Innocents, preceded by collected reviews of the book (APC 1869 and 1870).
Before the middle of August 1869, the American Publishing Company produced a second circular to advertise The
Innocents Abroad. Formulated as a letter to newspaper editors, it reprinted extracts from six early, favorable reviews, edited by
Elisha Bliss to remove any allusions to coarseness or irreverence. The six uncredited notices were all later reprinted and identified
(or misidentified) by Bliss in a gathering of reviews for the prospectus and in other advertising materials (APC 1869 [bib11133], 1869
[bib11134], and 1870). They were from the Hartford
Courant (“The New Pilgrim’s Progress,” 31 July 69, 1); an unidentified
newspaper (“Mark Twain as a Pilgrim,” which Bliss subsequently confused with a reprint in the Salem [N.J.]
National Standard, 18 Aug 69, 2); the Elizabeth (N.J.) Journal (“The Innocents
Abroad,” no date, no page); the Hartford Times (“New Book by ‘Mark
Twain,’” 28 July 69, 2); and, entitled “Mark Twain” in the circular, a conflation of
reviews from two newspapers, the Meriden (Conn.) Republican (2 Aug 69, 2, source for all but the third
paragraph) and the Bridgeport (Conn.) Standard (no date, no page, third paragraph only). This copy of the
circular is dated 10 August and inscribed “Bliss & Co
137 Market St,” the name and address of the Newark, New Jersey, subsidiary of the American Publishing Company.