Mark Twain's Full Autobiography to Be Published

Twain, AKA Samuel Clemens, asked for 100-year wait until publications

By Jackson West
|  Monday, May 24, 2010  |  Updated 1:15 PM PDT
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Per Samuel Clemens's wishes, the full autobiography of Mark Twain will be published after a hundred year interlude.

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The literary career of Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, got its start here in the Bay Area nearly 150 years ago.

Fittingly, the last unpublished work by Twain has been locked away in a vault at the University of California, Berkeley's Bancroft Library for the last century, and is set for publication in November.

The work, over 5,000 pages of autobiography, was specifically barred from publication by Twain for those 100 years.

Why? The likeliest reason is that Twain didn't want to offend anyone described or express political opinions which, at the time of his death in 1910, would have been wildly controversial. Although other commentators have noted Twain's marketing-savvy in being able to create buzz that's bound to sell books.

Reportedly, Twain spent his last days adding 400 pages of pure vitriol, including against secretary and apparent lover, Isabel Van Kleek Lyon, whom Twain was convinced "hypnotized" him into signing over power of attorney.

Though parts of the tome have been published in the past, this will be the first full edition, and is expected to fill three volumes.

Jackson West will probably set aside a weekend to devour the thing.

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