Australian Tales/Introduction

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Speech on Marcus Clarke during Australian lecture tour
by Mark Twain

Taken from a speech by Mark Twain in October 1895 during a lecture tour in Australia. Used as the Introduction of the book "Australian Tales" that was a collection of some short stories by Marcus Clarke.

I not only regret, but feel surprised that the 'Selected Works' of Australia's only literary genius--a genius such as you will not see again for many a long year--should be out of print. Through the courtesy of his widow I obtained a copy of the work after failing to buy one anywhere. And such a work, such reading, such power. It was just the sort of reading to banish from one's thoughts such pain as I have been suffering. The subjects so interesting, and their treatment so brilliant and fascinating. No works of such a man should be left unpublished. It is the duty of Australians to assist the widow of so great a writer in publishing his works. I may tell you that we think a deal more of Marcus Clarke in our country than I am sorry to think you do here. (Applause).