Mark Twain in Paradise: His Voyages to Bermuda

Mark Twain in Paradise: His Voyages to Bermuda

Mark Twain in Paradise: His Voyages to Bermuda

Mark Twain in Paradise: His Voyages to Bermuda

Excerpt

This study portrays both a man and a place. What took Mark Twain to Bermuda? Why did he go there so many times? How long did he stay? How did he spend his time, and with whom? What did he see? How was he received? What did he say about Bermuda?

A man and his work cannot be so easily separated, but I have tried to write of Samuel Clemens the person and Mark Twain the author and stage performer. It should also be said that the pen name, as Albert Bigelow Paine protested long ago, was Mark Twain, not “Twain.” In the narrative presented here, I have favored facts, direct observation, primary sources, and various extracts in order to steer clear of secondary commentary, contrived interpretations, and the claptrap that comes from pretending to have delved successfully into someone else’s unconscious. Nothing can compare with the immediacy and authenticity of Mark Twain’s own words.

The task of tracking Mark Twain in Bermuda proved the wisdom of what Richard P. Feynman so happily called “the pleasure of finding things out.” I am especially grateful to Patricia and L. Eugene Thomas for all their generous hospitality. I am also indebted to Karla Hayward, archivist, and her assistants Jane Downing and Richard Lowry at the Bermuda Archives, Hamilton; C. Joanne Brangman, librarian, and her staff at the Bermuda National Library, Hamilton; Dr. Wolfgang Sterrer and Penny Hill of the Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum and Zoo, in Flatts; Richard D. Butterfield, the owner of Bay . . .

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