Jean Clemens

Jean Clemens (1880-1910), youngest daughter of Sam Clemens, was the invalid of the family. Like her older sisters, she provided Clemens with an audience and source of inspiration while she was young. Unfortunately, she grew up to be a very sick woman, suffering from epilepsy, and had to be placed in a sanatorium on October 25, 1906, two years after Olivia's death. "Clemens was unable to handle the enormity of Jean's affliction and, inappropriately, thrust the responsibility on Isabella Lyon" -an assistant who swooned all over him and affectionately called him "King" (Trombley 16). Unlike his idealized relationship with his oldest daughter Susy, Clemens had precarious relationships with his other two daughters. The neglectful nature of Clemens and Jean's relationship can be seen in her 1906 diary, when she writes "Father can't possibly find any entertainment or interest in me"(Trombley 19), and in her 1907 diary, when she "duly records Clemens's infrequent visits"(Trombley 178). Nevertheless, it was not an unloving relationship by any means. In an effort to show his love for them, he fired Isabella Lyon -"By ousting Lyon, Clemens tried to prove to Clara and Jean that he still loved them"(Trombley 181). Soon after the dismissal, Jean was "reinstated" into the Clemens household. Unfortunately, she died nearly a year after her return.

Since Jean's and Clara's roles were mostly limited to being an audience member and source of inspiration while they were young, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of influence Jean had on any of the characters. The only character she might share something with is Becky, for the time Clemens appeared to appreciate Jean the most was when she was a young girl, a young girl like Becky. Otherwise, the connections are slim and nebulous: