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Add to My Citations To D. Appleton and Company
23–26 June 1870 • Elmira, N.Y.
(Anderson Auction Company 1914, lot 51, UCCL 09767)
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The terms of existing contracts would render the undertaking a breach of faith on my part—else it would delight me to do it.1

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Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 The undertaking was the “humorous picture-book” that Appleton and Company had proposed to Clemens around mid-May (20 May 70 to Bliss). This fragment probably belonged to the second of two responses to Appleton that Clemens summarized in his 4 July letter to Bliss, where he wrote that Appleton had had “two or ample time to have written me half a dozen times since.” Two or three weeks before 4 July would imply a date of 20 or 13 June, when Clemens was still in Buffalo. If he wrote from Elmira on 23 June, the earliest likely date, Appleton would have had eleven days for “half a dozen” letters. But he might have written as late as 26 June and still allowed them “ample time” of about a week. Although Clemens and Bliss had been discussing a new book for the American Publishing Company, no contracts had yet been signed (29 May 70 to Fairbanks; 9 June 70 to Bliss).

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyph Anderson Auction Company 1914, lot 51. Described in the auction catalog as “A. L. S., 12mo, Elmira, n. d., to Appleton & Co., publishers.”

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L4, 155–156.

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Elmira • [reported, not quoted]