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Twain's Literary Love

To celebrate love and romance, today we will be making posts about the different kinds of love found in our collections. Starting with the literary love letters of Mark Twain.

The Love Letters of Mark Twain
The Love Letters of Mark Twain

This compilation of letters from Samuel L. Clemens (Twain) to his wife Olivia Langdon documents their relationship through their courtship, engagement, and marriage.

On March 6, 1869 he writes sweetly to his betrothed “…as the dew loves the flowers; as the birds love the sunshine; as the wavelets love the breeze; as mothers love their first-born; as memory loves old faces; as the yearning tides love the moon; as the angels love the pure in heart.”

Continuing to write about his life, such as who he has and has not visited, how “perfectly awful” it is when his sister spells John with a G, how he doesn’t mind when his love misspells, and reflecting on receiving and responding to letters from her, he closes ”Yours, forever & always, Sam.”

The best part of this letter, however, comes when he critiques his own writing and asks Livy to burn it.

“P.S. I have read this letter over & it is flippant, & foolish, & puppyish. I wish I had gone to bed when I got back, without writing. You said I must never tear up a letter after writing it to you - & so I send it. Burn it Livy-I did not think I was writing so clownishly & shabbily. I was in much too good a humor for sensible letter writing.”


Mark Twain Collection, Twain PS1331.A3 C6 1949

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