Twain autobiography to be released after 100 year wait

National Post

Ron Nurwisah May 24, 2010

A full autobiography of American literary giant Mark Twain will be released in November.

Talk about keeping the reading public waiting.  The autobiography of Mark Twain, one of the most beloved authors in American literature, is set to be published 100 years after the man’s death.

Twain, who was born Samuel Clemens, requested in his will that his autobiography should not be published until 100 years after his death. He passed away in April of 1910. Although biographers and historians have had access to the man’s autobiography and papers, this is the first time the whole work will be published.

From the Guardian:

“When people ask me, ‘Did Mark Twain really mean it to take 100 years for this to come out?’, I say, ‘He was certainly a man who knew how to make people want to buy a book’,” editor Dr Robert Hirst told the Independent yesterday.

The University of California will be publishing the first of three planned volumes of the book in November. According to experts the book will touch upon Twain’s relationship with his secretary Isabel Van Kleek Lyon. The biography will also include Twain’s views on the politics of the time, including his views on race and U.S. colonialism.

From the Independent:

“He had doubts about God, and in the autobiography, he questions the imperial mission of the US in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. He’s also critical of [Theodore] Roosevelt, and takes the view that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. Twain also disliked sending Christian missionaries to Africa. He said they had enough business to be getting on with at home: with lynching going on in the South, he thought they should try to convert the heathens down there.”

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