100 Years Later, Mark Twain Finally Tells All

Per his dying wish, autobiography to be published this year
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2010 7:00 PM CDT
In this undated portrait released by The Mark Twain House & Museum, author Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens is shown with his family at Hartford House in Hartford, Conn.   (AP Photo/The Mark Twain House & Museum)
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(Newser) – A century after his death, Mark Twain remains a master at stirring up interest in his books: It was the author's dying wish that his lengthy and revealing autobiography not be published until 100 years after his death—which happens to be this year. The 5,000 pages he left behind detail Twain's ill-fated affair with his secretary, his doubts about God, and his criticism of US imperialism in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, the Independent reports.

Many think the reason for the hundred-year delay in publication is that Twain's privately held views would have hurt his public image—and his friends. "He spent six months of the last year of his life writing a manuscript full of vitriol, saying things that he'd never said about anyone in print before. It really is 400 pages of bile," a historian said of the last section of the manuscript. The first volume of the eventual trilogy will be published in November by the University of California, Berkeley.

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