Mark Twain’s Autobiography

Mark Twain’s complete autobiography is going to be published finally. He had written it in the last years of his life with instructions that it not be published until 100 years after his death. It will now be published in three volumes, running to about a half-million words. The manuscript was in a vault at the University of California at Berkeley.

Why did Twain want to wait so long? It seems he spoke quite frankly about all aspects of his life.

One thing’s for sure: by delaying publication, the author, who was fond of his celebrity status, has ensured that he’ll be gossiped about during the 21st century. A section of the memoir will detail his little-known but scandalous relationship with Isabel Van Kleek Lyon, who became his secretary after the death of his wife Olivia in 1904. Twain was so close to Lyon that she once bought him an electric vibrating sex toy. But she was abruptly sacked in 1909, after the author claimed she had “hypnotised” him into giving her power of attorney over his estate.

All I can say is…wow.

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