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Autobiography of Mark Twain: Reader's Edition Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Twain, Mark, Smith, Harriet Elinor (Editor), Griffin, Benjamin (Editor), Fischer, Victor (Editor), Frank, Michael B. (Editor)
ISBN: 0520272250     ISBN-13: 9780520272255
Publisher: Univ of California Pr
    OUR PRICE: $26.10  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: March 2012
Annotation: One of America's foremost authors and humorists relates experiences lived, people encountered, places visited, and judgments rendered throughout his lifetime.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Authors, American; 19th century; Biography.
BISAC Categories:
- Biography & Autobiography | Literary
- Biography & Autobiography | Personal Memoirs
Dewey: 818/.409
LCCN: bl2012029483
Academic/Grade Level: General Adult
Series: Mark Twain Papers
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 9.25" H x 6.00" W x 1.25" (1.32 lbs) 414 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): IV>Harriet Elinor Smith is an editor at the Mark Twain Project, which is housed within the Mark Twain Papers, the world's largest archive of primary materials by this major American writer. Under the direction of General Editor Robert H. Hirst, the Project's editors are producing the first comprehensive edition of all of Mark Twain's writings.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2013 September #5)

Several chapters into this sprawling volume, Mark Twain ("Sam," to his friends) professes: "I can say now what I could not say while alive—things which it would shock people to hear." Though not quite shocking, these rambling reminiscences (spanning 1860 to 1906, when Twain began dictating them) offer tart appraisals of matters personal ("In the early days I liked Bret Harte . . . but by and by I got over it"), political (" represents what the American gentleman ought not to be, and does it as clearly, intelligibly, and exhaustively as he represents what the American gentleman is"), and universal ("The political and commercial morals of the United States of America are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet"). The detailed and digressive narrative ping-pongs back and forth between the past and present, covering incidents including: Twain negotiating the publication of Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs; his youthful interest in mesmerism; the San Francisco earthquake of 1906; and swindles he endured from publishers. Twain traveled extensively and befriended many luminaries, and his colorful experiences give the book the same Dickensian scope as the first volume, and presents a vivid picture of America in the 19th century and Twain's indelible mark on it. 50 b&w photos. (Oct.)

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Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

This third and final volume of Twain's half-million-word autobiography begins with an amusing reminiscence about a rascally jewelry salesman, dictated in 1907, and ends with a wail of anguish over the tragic death of his daughter, Jean, in 1909. In between, there occur all manner of engrossing events and experiences, including Twain's receipt of an honorary degree from Oxford University, employment of a man masquerading as a housemaid, luncheon with George Bernard Shaw, travels abroad to England and Bermuda, and audiences with Andrew Carnegie and other famous personalities of the day. Twain recalls his twilight years' main events in roughly chronological order, but each serves as a touchstone for digressions and reveries on experiences described in his autobiography's two earlier volumes. Twain's expansiveness occasionally deflates into numbing levels of detail, but he is usually as sharp and witty here as he in his fiction, particularly when gleefully goring his favorite bête noir, President Theodore Roosevelt. Life, in Twain's opinion, is a "procession of episodes and experiences which seem large when they happen, but which diminish to trivialities as soon as we get perspective upon them." This fascinating volume gives lie to that assertion, and closes the book on the remarkable life of one of America's most outstanding literary talents. With extensive scholarly annotations. B+w photos. (Oct.)

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