Mark Twain, a Biography: 1886-1900

Volume II, Part 2

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Language: English
Wordcount: 83,286 / 243 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 60.3
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 592
Added to site: 2010.09.12
mnybks.net#: 28981
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Biography
Excerpt

under Appendix R, at the end of last volume.]


CLXIV

SOME FURTHER ACCOUNT OF CHARLES L. WEBSTER & CO.

Flood-tide is a temporary condition, and the ebb in the business of Charles L. Webster & Co., though very deliberate, was not delayed in its beginning. Most of the books published--the early ones at least-were profitable. McClellan's memoirs paid, as did others of the war series.

Even The Life of Pope Leo XIII. paid. What a statement to make, after all their magnificent dreams and preparations! It was published simultaneously in six languages. It was exploited in every conceivable fashion, and its aggregate sales fell far short of the number which the general agents had promised for their first orders. It was amazing, it was incredible, but, alas! it was true. The prospective Catholic purchaser had decided that the Pope's Life was not necessary to his salvation or even to his entertainment. Howells explains it, to his own satisfaction at least, when he says:

We

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