|Mark Twain in Virginia City by Andy Thomas|
In Roughing It, Twain tells tall tales about his time in Virginia City. It is supposed to be a nonfiction memoir, but is probably about as truthful as The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. I suspect the two men would have admired each other's ability to make a point by telling a story.
Philip Pullman said, "Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever." The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a perfect example of this axiom. Below are a few handwritten pages from this great American classic.
Handwritten manuscripts fascinate me. I used James Madison's convention notes when I wrote Tempest at Dawn. His notes were over 230,000 words; all recorded by dipping a quill into an inkwell. I marvel that in olden days, authors maintained continuity without the cut and paste capabilities of a modern computer. Before word processors, writers had to keep future sentences in their head as their hand scrambled to keep up with their thoughts. Tough work that required exceptional mental agility. I thank Bill Gates daily for MS Word.
Note: the original title does not include the word The. Recent editions have generally added The.