I love these two glimpses into Sam Clemens' relaxed way of working. Both are taken from notes to the online collection of letters at the Mark Twain Project.
Mr. Clemens was a believer in personal comfort while at work. On hot days in particular he cast aside formalities—and a considerable portion of his clothing as well. At the outset he bought a comfortable lounging chair with a writing board hinged on to the arm, and it was no infrequent sight during the summer to find him nestled cosily in that chair, a pipe in his mouth and only a negligee shirt, trousers and socks in evidence as costume. His collar and shoes would most likely be in a waste basket and his hat, coat and waistcoat wherever they chanced to land when he cast them off.
(Earl D. Berry, 1869)
(from “How ‘Innocents Abroad’ Was Written,” New York Evening Post, 20 Jan 1883)
above: Mark Twain looking very relaxed indeed!
An absolutely bizarre death report from 1911…
5 hours ago