MARK TWAIN DIARIES WILL GO AT AUCTION
Two Volumes, Covering Parts of Years 1896 to 1898, Contain Unpublished Material.
AFRICAN TOUR DESCRIBED
One Entry Comments on American "Uncourteousness" - Another Gives Religious Views
Two diaries of Mark Twain, containing unpublished material, will be offered at the first book auction of the Winter at the American Art Galleries, at which the library of Mrs. Barry H. Jones of Bethlehem, Pa., and selections from the library of Joseph Walton of St. Davids, Pa., will be offered for sale.
The diaries cover different parts of the years 1896-7-8. The Winter of 1897-8 Mark Twain spent with his family in Vienna at Hotel Metropole. After his departure the proprietor found two of the humorist's notebooks and kept them as souvenirs.
One book, containing approximately 18,000 words, written in pencil, is made up of entries ranging from May 1 to July 16, 1896, with accounts of the author's lecture tour in South Africa, notes to be used in future lectures and unpublished personal opinions.
One of the humorist's comments is about American "uncourteousness," in which he says we "stand alone - until Hell shall be heard from." Another of the entries pertains to the author's religious views. It reads in part: "If I were going to construct a god I would furnish him with some ways and qualities and characteristics which the present one lacks."
The other diary contains about 6,000 words, written mostly in pencil, with references made at a critical period in the author's life when he was losing a considerable sum of money promoting the Paige typesetting machine, and showed his great emotional stress, with his more personal reflections set down in German. A page and a half contains the germ of the idea which he afterward expanded into "A Double Barreled Detective Story," and another a skit on Harriet Beecher Stowe, which has never been published. The diaries and notebooks of Mark Twain, which he kept throughout most of his life, are a very important source of biographical and literary information, and were used by Albert Bigelow Paine in preparing his biography of the humorist.
Among the other items in the collections to be dispersed are a set of first editions of the writings of Mark Twain and a first edition of FitzGerald's "Omar Khayyam," as well as first editions of Dickens, Coleridge, Lever, Pater and others.
Among the bound library sets are works of Balzac, Conrad, Dickens, Poe, Racine, Scott and others, and among the extra-illustrated works is a set of Sloane's "Napoleon." Autographs and manuscripts by Burroughs, Conrad, Dickens, Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and others are also included, as well as a collection of engravings by Cochin and Quenedey, and forty-five original drawings by George Perfect Harding and others.