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Mark Twain and Male FriendshipThe Twichell, Howells, and Rogers Friendships$
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Peter Messent

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195391169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195391169.001.0001

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Clemens, Manhood, the Rogers Friendship, and “Which Was the Dream?”

Clemens, Manhood, the Rogers Friendship, and “Which Was the Dream?”

(p.125) 6 Clemens, Manhood, the Rogers Friendship, and “Which Was the Dream?”
Mark Twain and Male Friendship

Peter Messent (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

An account is given here of Clemens's financial problems in the 1890s, Rogers's intervention and involvement in his business affairs, and the nature of the friendship that developed. A further account, too, is given of changing gender roles at the time, of home‐work relationships, and of the representation of manhood and manliness and the shifts that occurred here too (and especially within a business arena), and as seen within the context of the supposed “crisis of masculinity” in the period. This discussion takes place in the light of Clemens and Rogers's correspondence and the friendship it reflects, but also of the supposed gap between business and culture associated with the late‐nineteenth‐century American world—and illustrates how eventually the two men's roles were reversed as Clemens gained strength while Rogers suffered physical decline and business difficulties. The chapter ends with an analysis of “Which was the Dream?” read in the terms of the previous discussions.

Keywords:   Rogers, Clemens, Twain, business, culture, manhood, manliness, friendship, family, literature

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