Letters of Jennie Allen
[Mark Twain]. Grace Donworth. The Letters of Jennie Allen to Her Friend Miss Musgrove. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1908. First edition. Octavo (7.25 x 5 inches; 185 x 125 mm.). viii, [2, fly-title (verso blank)], 291, [3, blank] pages. Frontispiece and fifteen illustrated plates by Frederick R. Gruger inserted throughout. Publisher's red cloth, spine and front board lettered in black, front board decoratively stamped in white and black; all edges of the text block trimmed; plain endpapers. Spine slightly leaning; backstrip faintly dulled; spine ends and corners lightly rubbed; a couple trivial scuffs to the front board. Text block sagging just a hair; top edge very lightly dust soiled; previous ownership signature. Very good.
A collection of letters between fictional characters. Twain read a previously published one and mistook it as real. "He incorporated one of the Jennie Allen letters in a speech which he made at a Press Club dinner in New York on the subject of simplified spelling--offering it at as an example of language with phonetic brevity exercising its supreme function, the direct conveyance of ideas... Clemens was not at all offended or disturbed by the exposure (of Grace Donworth's authorship). He even agreed to aid the young author in securing a publisher" (Albert Bigelow Paine. Mark Twain. A Biography. New York: 1912. p. 1318). (#10206).