Mark and Livy: The Love Story of Mark Twain and the Woman Who Almost Tamed Him

Mark and Livy: The Love Story of Mark Twain and the Woman Who Almost Tamed Him

Mark and Livy: The Love Story of Mark Twain and the Woman Who Almost Tamed Him

Mark and Livy: The Love Story of Mark Twain and the Woman Who Almost Tamed Him

Synopsis

Olivia Langdon Clemens was not only the love of Mark Twain's life and the mother of his children, she was also his editor, muse, critic and trusted advisor. She read his letters and speeches. He relied on her judgment on his writing, and readily admitted that she not only edited his work, but also edited his public persona. Until now, little has been known about Livy's crucial place in Twain's life. In Resa Willis's affecting and fascinating biography, we meet a dignified, optimistic woman who married young, raised three sons and a daughter, endured myriad health problems and money woes and who faithfully traipsed all over the world with Twain - Africa, Europe, Asia-while battling his moodiness and her frailty. Twain adored her. A hard-drinking dreamer with an insatiable wanderlust, he needed someone to tame him. It was Livy who encouraged him to finish his autobiography even through the last stages of her illness. When she died in 1904, Twain's zest for life and writing was gone. He died six years later. A triumph of the biographer's art, Mark and Livy presents the fullest picture yet of one of the most influential women in American letters.

Excerpt

This biography of Olivia Langdon Clemens, the woman married to America's most famous and favorite writer, Mark Twain, began when I discovered that among the numerous volumes about him there was no definitive biography of her. The story of their incomparable thirty-seven year romance needed to be told. And so it was published in 1992 by Atheneum. Since that time I have received many letters and questions from those who read the book. Often these fans of Livy and Clemens would ask: Will the book be out in paperback? Is a film going to be made of it? Well, I can now answer in the affirmative. I continue to be gratified by the interest in this quiet, dignified, but very influential woman in American letters just as I think Mark Twain would be.

Livy was not only Samuel Clemen's wife and the mother of his children, she was Mark Twain's editor. She read and proposed changes to nearly everything he wrote. She attended many of his lectures and made constant suggestions regarding material to include in his platform speeches. He relied on her judgment as to what his readers would and wouldn't accept.

Twain once remarked, [Mrs. Clemens has kept a lot of things from getting into print that might have given me a reputation I

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.