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[Autograph Letter, Signed (

[Autograph Letter, Signed ("Samuel"), to His Mother-in-Law]

by Clemens, Samuel L

Condition: See description


York [UK], 1873. Six pages, in ink, on rectos and versos of three octavo lettersheets. Folded for mailing, tiny marginal break at one fold, otherwise very good. A fine, descriptive letter, addressed "Mother Dear -" (i.e. Olivia Lewis Langdon), written during the course of his second extensive tour of the UK (May - October 1873). He writes, in part: "... we have been 24 hours out of London, & they have been 24 hours of rest & quiet. Nobody knows us here - we took good care of that. In Edinburgh we are to be introduced to nobody, & shall stay in a retired, private hotel, & go on resting." He comments about York: "For the present we shall remain in this queer and walled town, with its crooked, narrow lanes that tell us of their old day that knew no wheeled vehicles; its plaster-&-timber dwellings with upper stories far overhanging the street ... the stately city walls, the castellated gates, the ivy-grown, foliage-sheltered, most noble & picturesque ruin of St. Mary's Abbey, suggesting their date, say 500 years ago, in the heart of crusading times & the glory of English chivalry & romance; the vast cathedral of York, with its worn carving & quaintly pictured windows preaching of still remoter days; the outlandish names of streets & courts & byways that stand as a record & a memorial, all these centuries, of Danish dominion here in still earlier times; the hint here & there of King Arthur & his Knights & their bloody fights with Saxon oppressors round about this old city more than 1300 years gone by; & last of all, the melancholy old stone coffins & sculptured inscriptions, a venerable arch & a hoary tower of stone that still remain & are kissed by the sun & caressed by the shadows every day just as the sun & the shadows have kissed & caressed them every lagging day since the Roman Emperor's soldiers placed them here in the times when Jesus the Son of Mary walked the streets of Nazareth ...." He closes: "We are enjoying it, & shall go on enjoying it for several days yet ...," and signs "Yr loving son Samuel [flourish]."


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Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
fine
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the crispne...[more]
octavo
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing ei...[more]

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