“Yours Ever, Sam’l Clemens”

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It was once argued by sober-sided scholars that his wife, who read nearly everything her husband wrote and sometimes asked for changes in the interest of decorum, was somehow responsible for his having failed to develop into the Serious Artist they were sure he should have been. But his letters suggest that it was at least as likely that the steadiness required of him in order to win and hold her love helped make him the very great writer he did in fact become.