There is perhaps no better known name in American writing than Mark Twain's. He was a giant to all the little boys in my neighborhood and I even painted my family's fence once on account of him. The only problem was my parents didn't want the fence painted and I still can feel the strap on my little fanny.
Who among you can't remember The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer? These characters were developed from Samuel Langhorne Clemens' days spent in Hannibal, Missouri on the Mississippi River as a boy. There has never been a greater humorist in America than this man. Even as I am writing this, it is difficult not to laugh just thinking about the stories I read so long ago. Mr. Clemens lived a full life and traveled this country from coast to coast. He was born in 1835 and died in 1910.
After huge successes as a writer, he went broke trying to develop a typewriter and his losses in today's money would have been over $7,000,000. This caused a very dark period in his life and he suffered great depression. Not being a quitter, however, he regained his fortune but never was the same man again after the losses of his fortune and members of his family.
This brings me to why this information can bring you rewards by having knowledge about Mark Twain and his tremendous popularity. I wrote several days ago about finding a chest on a farm where I was doing work for my father in the oil fields. What I didn't mention was that there were two Mark Twain books in it. This was when I was still in high school but even then they sold for over $100 apiece. What would they be worth today?
His books are what are in demand today, especially if he signed them, but there are other items that can fetch a pretty penny such as autographs and signed photos. A page with autographs of him and his daughters was sold for several thousand dollars. An important letter by him may fetch $10,000. The first ed. 1882 Prince and the Pauper sold on eBay for $2400 and I know there are many of his books still stashed away in some old chest or basement waiting to be found by you.
I would suggest that if you are fortune enough to find his books please, before you sell them, take time to a cozy place and read them from cover to cover. You will be greatly rewarded and your time will be well spent. After that, the money won't hurt either.
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