Navigation: Friends and Social Life

"The Belle of New York"

Doe-Luncheons [drawings for place cards; guest list, 1908]

Doe-Luncheons [drawings for place cards; guest list, 1908]

Doe-Luncheons [drawings for place cards; guest list, 1908]

Doe-Luncheons [drawings for place cards; guest list, 1908]
Doe-Luncheons
[drawings for place cards; guest list, 1908]

In 1908, Clemens's good friend the writer Kate Douglas Wiggin chided him for entertaining his male friends at stag luncheons. Wiggin argued that "brilliance is not limited to the stags—give a doe-luncheon & you will see." "And she was right," Clemens conceded.

The first "doe-luncheon" on 14 January 1908 was a great success. "I was the only lady of my sex present," Clemens reported modestly. He entertained himself by creating hand-drawn place cards for his guests, some of which are shown here. He quickly organized a second lunch for 11 February: the tentative guest list, largely in Clemens's hand with his secretary's additions, is shown here.

It included the young actress Ethel Barrymore and a guest listed only as "Fluffy," who has been identified, courtesy of Peter Hanff, Deputy Director of The Bancroft Library, as Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of the beloved children's classics The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, and Little Lord Fauntleroy.
The Bancroft Library Exhibits
Mark Twain Papers | The Bancroft Library | Library home | Search | Contact webmaster
[an error occurred while processing this directive] Mark Twain at Sea Inventions, Games and Contraptions Cats and Billiards One Cigar at a Time Music and Theater Literary Mischief A 'Skeleton Novelette' Collaborating with Friends Doe-Luncheons Birthday Bash A Bit of Autobiography 'The Belle of New York' A Toast from Mr. Punch Aquarium Bylaws The Juggernaut Club Lotos Club Menu The Savages The Clubman The Stormfield Guestbook Dinner with Friends April Fool About Timeline Relaxing