Monday, May 24, 2010

Mark Twain Has Made Us Wait 100 Years for His Autobiography--and that time is here!

When Mark Twain died in 1910, he left us more than 5,000 unedited pages about his life--with instructions to wait one hundred years before their publication. 

Those one hundred years have passed, and his estate (Twain has no surviving family) has authorized the publication of his memoirs. The proceeds will go to institutes that "preserve his legacy."

Portions of his autobiography has been printed as biographers have picked through the 5,000 pages, but now the estate and the University of California, Berkeley, want the entire work to be published so that readers can determine for themselves the kind of man Twain was--according to his own words written toward the end of his life.

Some items sure to be included:
  • his affair with Isabel Van Kleek Lyon, his secretary after the death of Twain's wife--a 400-page account added the last year of his life
  • views that could have hurt his image as the great American man of letters: views of God, American imperialism, and Christian evangelism overseas
  • commentary that could have offended people he knew
 A longer article is available from the books section of The Independent, including links to other related articles. Thanks to Richard Incorvia, Jr., for steering me to this topic.

Copyright 2010 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved
photo from Library of Congress


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