Autobiography of Mark Twain

Volume 3
Edited by Benjamin Griffin and Harriet Elinor Smith
Published by University of California Press

The final, surprising chapter of a great American life. 

When the first volume of Mark Twain’s uncensored Autobiography was published in 2010, it was hailed as an essential addition to his body of work and a crucial document for our understanding of the great humorist’s life and times. This third and final volume crowns and completes his life’s work. Like its companion volumes, it chronicles Twain's inner and outer life through a series of daily dictations that go wherever his fancy leads. 

Created between March 1907 and December 1909, these dictations present Mark Twain at the end of his life: receiving an honorary degree from The University of Oxford; railing against Theodore Roosevelt; founding numerous clubs; incredulous at an exhibition of the Holy Grail; credulous about the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays; relaxing in Bermuda; observing (and investing in) new technologies. The Autobiography’s ‘Closing Words’ movingly commemorate his daughter Jean, who died on Christmas Eve 1909. Also included in this volume is the previously unpublished ‘Ashcroft-Lyon Manuscript’, Mark Twain’s caustic indictment of his ‘putrescent pair’ of secretaries and the havoc that erupted in his house during their residency. 

Full of Twain’s caustic wit, the Autobiography has been reconstructed and annotated; presented for the first time as the author intended, it emerges as a landmark publication in American literature.

Published by University of California Press
792 pages
45 illustrations
259mm × 191mm

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