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Topic: Samuel Clemens -- 100 years gone

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Subject: Samuel Clemens -- 100 years gone
Date Posted: 4/15/2010 1:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 43
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Great article on Yahoo News today about the passing of Mark Twain a century ago.

Anyone read a definitive biography that they'd recommend?  (Seems he planned to write his autobiography but never got far with it.) 

Last Edited on: 4/16/10 2:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/17/2010 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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No, Mark Twain did write and publish an autobiography: The Autobiography of Mark Twain. I haven't read it since college, so I don't remember much about it, but it was an easy read as I recall.

I read a bio of Twain five or six years ago--I think it was this one: Mark Twain: a Biography by Connie Ann Kirk.

The bio I'd especially like to read is this one: Mark Twain: A Life by Ron Powers. Powers grew up in Hannibal, MO and I've read one of his other books about Hannibal, which is of special interest to me because I was born in Hannibal and lived near there till I was six years old. Mark Twain is very much a part of my childhood memories, and I was fortunate to get to take a class in college all about Twain and his writings. Anyway, I am going to try to find the Powers book, I'm sure it's good.

Date Posted: 4/17/2010 1:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2009
Posts: 23
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I live near Elmira, NY, which is were Clemens married and wrote most of hisbooks.  His grave is also here.  Hal Holbrook, who does a top-notch impersonation of Clemens, is in town this weekend to do an exclusive performance, at....the Clemens Center, LOL.




Date Posted: 4/18/2010 1:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 43
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Thanks for the suggestions, jscrappy!  (I misread the Yahoo! article re: his autobiography.  His deathbed instructions were to throw away unfinished manuscripts -- not autobiography notes.) 

Check out the Claymation version of Twain's "The Mysterious Stranger" (http://www.youtube.com/watch) .  Was this actually marketed for kids?  It probably would have give me nightmares.

Kelli L. , I have heard rave reviews of Hal Holbrook's stage performance.  Gotta check to see if it is available on DVD...

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 795
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What about the autobiography that he ordered not to be released until 100 years after his death?  Have any of you found that in print yet?

Date Posted: 8/22/2010 1:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Mel, volume 1 of 3 is due to be published in November 2010. 

ETA: news release: http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2010/07/27_twain.shtml

ETA further: The ISBN and other particulars: http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520267190

Last Edited on: 8/22/10 1:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/22/2010 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 62
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My husband and I just spend a couple of days in Hannibal doing the Twain thing.  We did not realize it but they are calling this the Year of Twain.  It was well worth the trip.  Took the tour of Twain's home & museum.   Even went into the cave he wrote about in Tom Sawyer.   Bought his autobiography and plan to read it and some of his books this year.  

Date Posted: 8/29/2010 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 62
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Thanks Janelle, I just listened to "Mark Twain, A Life"  Very impressed with Ron Powers who wrote and read the book.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in knowing about Mark Twain.  Still plan on reading his autobiography even if a lot of it is fiction.