TWAIN'S MSS. IN DEMAND.
Items Bring High Prices, Especially Since He Said He Had Quit Writing.
Mark Twain's recently announced determination to write no more books is of interest to autograph collectors, especially to those whose hobby is the collection of distinguished authors' manuscripts. There is quite a demand for Mark Twain items, and whenever a manuscript of his turns up in the auction room there is lively competition for it, and it almost always fetches a good price. There was hope among the younger collectors and those of limited means that if Mark Twain kept on writing for publication his later manuscripts might come under the auctioneer's hammer, and, if the wealthier or older collectors were satisfied with what they had already obtained, some of the good things might fall to their own lot, but his announcement would seem to put an end to such a hope.
There was further evidence at Anderson's recently of the popularity of Twain among collectors. Manuscripts of his are seldom offered for sale, but there were two in this collection. One of them was the original manuscript, in his handwriting, of "The Invalid's Story," better known as "The Limburger Cheese Story." It is signed in full "Mark Twain." there is also a memorandum in his autograph reading: "Insert these twenty-three pages manuscript (Invalid's Story), making the insertion at Page 90 of the small book, entitled 'Punch, Brothers Punch.' " The manuscript is in cloth binding with a specially printed title page on Japan vellum paper, and portrait of the author. Dodd, Mead, & Co. had to bid $150 to get it.
The other item was the original manuscript of "The Regular Toast, Woman, God Bless Her," delivered by Mark Twain at the New England Society dinner, Dec. 23, 1882. It is in this address that Twain describes the dress of the African savage woman as "just her complexion." This was also knocked down to Dodd, Mead & Co. for $100.
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