Academic journal article Mark Twain Journal

Editor's Note

Academic journal article Mark Twain Journal

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

As the Mark Twain Journal approaches its eightieth year of publication (it was originally known as the Mark Twain Quarterly at its inception in 1936), one marvels that the current editor is only the third person to hold this post. The founding editor and his successor would no doubt have been delighted to know that university libraries currently subscribe to their periodical in numerous nations, including France, Germany, Canada, Taiwan, Switzerland, Japan, and England. It has also become a frequently consulted source for the electronic database JSTOR.

In its early days the journal carried miscellaneous poetry as well as tributes to and articles about prominent contemporary American and British authors. Gradually over the decades its contents began to focus more narrowly on biographical, historical, and critical essays devoted to Samuel Clemens, his family, and his circle of friends and acquaintances. This issue carries on that latter tradition when Robert Stewart explores a hilarious newspaper report that Twain filed about an 1863 party at the governor's house in Carson City. In addition, Henry S. Cohn fills in the blanks about the relationship between Clemens and the newspaper editor and Republican politician Joseph R. Hawley of Hartford. Most Mark Twain scholars are familiar with Hawley's name but few know much about his life and career.

Our feature article for this Fall issue is Thomas Ruys Smith's illuminating study of how the Mississippi River was depicted shortly before Twain wrote his famous descriptions, and the extent to which those previous accounts presumably influenced his writing. …

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