Mark Twain Memoirs Unsealed After 100 Years
The last wish of one of America’s greatest authors is about to come true: Mark Twain’s biography will hit stores 100 years after his death.
According to a report by The Independent, the late novelist, whose works include “Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” left behind 5,000 pages of unedited text that will be turned into a three-volume trilogy running about half a million words.
Why did Twain wait so long to allow this final manuscript to be released? More from The Independent:
Scholars are divided as to why Twain wanted the first-hand account of his life kept under wraps for so long. Some believe it was because he wanted to talk freely about issues such as religion and politics. Others argue that the time lag prevented him from having to worry about offending friends.
So what can we expect to find in Twain’s tomes? Exactly what you might expect from an humorist with bawdy sensibilities. (He once penned an obscene story, titled “1601,” framed as an extract from Queen Elizabeth’s diary. Read it here.) When describing a love affair late in life with his secretary, Isabel Van Kleek Lyon, Twain is surprisingly coarse:
“Most people think Mark Twain was a sort of genteel Victorian. Well, in this document he calls (Van Kleek Lyon) a slut and says she tried to seduce him. It’s completely at odds with the impression most people have of him,” says the historian Laura Trombley.
Intrigue, humor, politics, philosophy and an early 20th-century electric sex toy. It’s all there within the pages of this series.
But don’t bother waiting in line just yet to buy your copy. Twain’s autobiography doesn’t hit store shelves until November.
Image credit: Library of Congress