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By Jeffrey Steinbrink

Mark Twain is certainly one of our such a lot available cultural icons, a determine widely used to almost each American and well known the world over. yet he used to be now not continuously as we all know him at the present time. Mark Twain started existence as a unfastened collecting of postures, attitudes, and voices within the brain of Samuel Clemens. It used to be your time sooner than he took complete ownership of the character the area now acknowledges. this is often the tale of the arriving of age of Mark Twain. It starts in 1867, with Clemens stepping off the steamship Quaker urban and presently stating himself ''in a fidget to move.'' It involves a detailed in 1871, with Clemens settling in Hartford. Mark Twain used to be considerably shaped in the course of the intervening years, as Clemens got here East, won repute and fortune with the booklet of Innocents in another country, courted and married Olivia Langdon, and proven himself as a certified author. every one of those steps represented a profound switch within the former Wild stand-up comedian of the Pacific Slope as he sifted throughout the parts in his character and commenced to imagine the features we now go along with him. The story that unfolds right here exhibits how, via that technique, the Mark Twain of the overdue 1860s turned the Mark Twain of all time.

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I don't want to talk to the Post people till I am done with the Courant" (14 May 1869). When Warner returned in mid-June, matters proceeded swiftly and, for Clemens, unsatisfactorily. "Warner says he wishes he could effect a copartnership with me," he wrote Olivia, "but he doubts the possibility of doing it—will write me if anything turns up. Bromley of the Post says the 5 owners of that paper are so well satisfied with the progress the paper is making that they would be loth [sic ] to sell" (21 June 1869).

I am grateful to Mr. Langdon," Clemens wrote Olivia, "for thinking of Buffalo with his cool head when we couldn't think of any place but Cleveland with our hot ones" (19 August 1869). He demonstrated that gratitude by leaping at the Express offer. " For all his professed determination to proceed deliberately in the question of where and how to settle—"the solemnest matter," he said, "that has ever yet come into my calculations"—Clemens ultimately jumped at an opportunity that he cannot have had two weeks to consider, and even at that declared his impatience with the "bore of taking a tedious invoice, & getting everything intelligible & ship-shape & according to the canons of business" before the deal could be closed (SLC to MMF, 14 August 1869).

I shall try hard to get into the Herald on such terms as will save me from it" (2 January 1869). But Cleveland would not be hurried. Twice in January, on the 19th and 23d, Clemens registered with Olivia his disappointment at having been prevented by the ill health of Herald co-owner George Benedict from pushing his newspaper negotiations ahead. By early February, when he wrote to inform his own family of his final acceptance by the Langdons and his formal engagement to their daughter, he was noticeably cooler about his Cleveland prospects.

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