In 1899, a London acquaintance named T. Douglas Murray asked Mr. Clemens to write the Introduction for an English translation of the trial records of Joan of Arc, which Murray was editing. Clemens submitted his draft and was dismayed to get it back with heavy, ham-handed edits.
In reply, Clemens prepared a point-by-point refutation of the revisions, along the way calling Murray an "unteachable ass" and acknowledging a rare good edit by writing, "But you are not playing fair; you are getting some sane person to help you." In one passage, Murray rewrote Clemens to say that Joan of Arc's genius was "created" through "steady and congenial growth." Clemens replied: "Genius is not 'created' by any farming process--it is born. You are thinking of potatoes." Another group of edits he simply summed up as: "Third Paragraph. Drunk."
Clemens thought better of it and never sent the letter. Fortunately, he saved it for every writer who's suffered a bad edit to treasure for centuries to come. I wish I could post the entire thing. Here's a taste:
It is discouraging to try to penetrate a mind like yours. You ought to get it out and dance on it. That would take some of the rigidity out of it. And you ought to use it sometimes; that would help. If you had done this every now and then along through life, it would not have petrified.