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Mark Twain and George Washington Cable: The "Twins of Genius" Tour, 1884-1885

Mark Twain Display : Mainfloor, Central Library

In December of 1884, Samuel L. Clemens returned to Buffalo during a two-day stop on his latest lecture tour, thirteen years after having sold his interest in the Buffalo Express and ended his career as a newspaper journalist. Appearing on public platforms since 1866, Twain was a veteran of public speaking and was a huge draw, lecturing to sold-out venues across the United States like a rock star filling stadiums while on tour. Initially Twain planned on touring with other prominent and well-established writers like himself, including William Dean Howells, Charles Dudley Warner and Joel Chandler Harris. His final choice of George W. Cable, and up and coming novelist and essayist, turned out to be a reasonable one. It was also the perfect time for Twain to promote his most recent work, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

On display are on copies of the Buffalo newspaper reviews, ads and itinerary, as well as first editions of several of Cable's best-known works.

Photograph of Mark Twain and George Washington Cable courtesy of the Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.