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 Mark Twain
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Twain Defends Mrs. Stowe

   -- published in the Buffalo Express, August 24, 1869; from Mark Twain's journal at the Connecticut State Library

"Mrs. Stowe's revelation of the horrible secret confided to her some years ago by Lady Byron is meeting with extensive condemnation and severe criticism. We are surprised at the generally angry tone in which it is discussed, failing to see much fairness or cool judgment exhibited anywhere in the strictures of those who make haste to resent the damning imputation cast upon Lord Byron's memory. To some, who cherish an ancient political grudge against the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, there seems to be a sufficient reason for savagely denouncing the story in the fact that it comes from Mrs. Stowe, whom they improve the occasion to abuse. In the minds of many more, a merely sentimental tenderness -- the lingering remains of that fervid poetical and romantic passion which used to be kindled to burning in the susceptible hearts of young men and women by Byron's verse -- is so painfully vexed by this terrible accusation brought against the poet that it flashes out a fierce retort without waiting for reason or consideration."

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