Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Twain Manuscript Authenticated...!

Sometimes a document is thought to be lost forever, only to be found many years later.

Normally this might not draw a lot of attention, but when the author is Mark Twain and the manuscript is an edited original first half of Huckleberry Finn...it tends to make the news.

Long-lost Twain manuscript authenticated

On this day, Sotheby’s announced the discovery of a long-lost manuscript of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

The manuscript was the first half of Twain’s original version, heavily corrected in his own handwriting, which had been missing for more than a century. The manuscript surfaced when a 62-year-old Los Angeles librarian finally got around to sorting through some old papers in six trunks sent to her when an aunt from upstate New York died.

Twain, it turned out, had sent the second half of the manuscript to the librarian’s grandfather, James Gluck, who had solicited it for the Buffalo and Erie Library in Buffalo, New York, where Twain had once lived. At the time, Twain was unable to find the entire manuscript, and it was presumed lost for more than 100 years. However, it turned out that Twain did eventually find the manuscript and send it to Gluck.

A custody war over the manuscript ensued, with the sisters, the library, and the Mark Twain Papers Projects in Berkeley, California, squabbling over rights to the papers. Ultimately, the three parties struck a deal: The library would hold the rights to the physical papers, but all three parties would share in the publication rights. Because the novel contained previously unpublished material, and showed Twain’s edits, interest in publishing the manuscript was high, and in 1995 Random House won the rights to publish the book for an undisclosed price.

So often the true worth of a manuscript, or painting, or any other creation is not realized until after the death of the creator. I reckon this is true in all forms of creativity. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Coffee inside again, because it's cold and rainy again here!


Momlady said...

The family fight is typical. Everyone wants their share of the moola. Thanks for the info. You always find the most interesting stuff.

linda m said...

Fights over property of the deceased seems to be typical. Everyone wants what they think is their share. Maybe we should just have all our stuff "planted" with us. It is neat that the papers were found. Very cold here.

JO said...

Like the others commented everyone wants their share even though they may not have had anything to do with that person for many, many years. So sad but so true.

We are headed into a cold rainy front. We sure do need it the rain in drought once again.

HermitJim said...

Hey Momlady...
It's always a shame when families fight over stuff like that. Happens all the time, though.
Thanks for stopping over today!

Hey Linda...
I reckon that is why wills are so important. After that much time, the fight must have been interesting.
Thanks for coming over this morning.

Hey Jo...
Always seems to be plenty of "takers" around. Guess every family has their share.
Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!