Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 3 by Benjamin Griffin & Harriet Elinor Smith (edd) - review by Jay Parini

Jay Parini

Chasing the Rabbit

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 3


University of California Press 747pp £30.95 order from our bookshop

Editorial persistence has, at last, yielded the autobiography of Mark Twain in three volumes, of which this is the final instalment. The editors at the Mark Twain Project in California have sorted out the five thousand or so pages of dictated notes and miscellaneous typed or handwritten fragments that the great man left behind at his death in 1910. The result is a massive, rambling tome, supported by all the scholarly annotations and appendices one could wish for.

Twain was a garrulous old man, having been cut loose from every restraint by the death of his beloved wife in 1904. He could drink as much whiskey as he wanted, smoke as many cigars as he saw fit, and chatter into the wee hours to a stenographer. Readers will

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