Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2: The Complete and Authoritative Edition

( 6 )

Overview


Mark Twain’s complete, uncensored Autobiography was an instant bestseller when the first volume was published in 2010, on the centennial of the author’s death, as he requested. Published to rave reviews, the Autobiography was hailed as the capstone of Twain’s career. It captures his authentic and unsuppressed voice, speaking clearly from the grave and brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions.

The eagerly-awaited Volume 2 delves deeper into Mark Twain’s life, uncovering the many...

See more details below
Hardcover
$33.22
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$45.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (23) from $18.38   
  • New (16) from $28.06   
  • Used (7) from $18.38   
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2: The Complete and Authoritative Edition

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$26.49
BN.com price
(Save 41%)$45.00 List Price

Overview


Mark Twain’s complete, uncensored Autobiography was an instant bestseller when the first volume was published in 2010, on the centennial of the author’s death, as he requested. Published to rave reviews, the Autobiography was hailed as the capstone of Twain’s career. It captures his authentic and unsuppressed voice, speaking clearly from the grave and brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions.

The eagerly-awaited Volume 2 delves deeper into Mark Twain’s life, uncovering the many roles he played in his private and public worlds. Filled with his characteristic blend of humor and ire, the narrative ranges effortlessly across the contemporary scene. He shares his views on writing and speaking, his preoccupation with money, and his contempt for the politics and politicians of his day. Affectionate and scathing by turns, his intractable curiosity and candor are everywhere on view.

Editors: Benjamin Griffin and Harriet E. Smith
Associate Editors: Victor Fischer, Michael B. Frank, Sharon K. Goetz and Leslie Diane Myrick
 

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

To most general readers, the first volume of the Autobiography of Mark Twain arrived in 2010 as an unexpected centennial surprise, little knowing that its author had long ago planned it just that way. His request received its just reward: This mammoth, singular autobiography became a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, as the second volume arrives, the surprise is abated, but the pleasure remains. This thousand-page opus contains Twain's accounts, memories and musings on his beloved wife Clara and his daughter Susy; his old friend, then rival Bret Harte; publishers, politicians, and imperialists. At times, the nakedness of his strong opinions helps explain why he wanted these reflections to remain secret for so long.

Publishers Weekly
09/30/2013
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.)
Page-Turner The New Yorker

"If you surrender yourself to the sound of his voice, the pleasure of Twain’s company proves pretty hard to resist. His narrative may be loose, but at least it never loses sight of its subject."
The Hartford Courant

"Set aside all ideas of starting at the beginning and reading through to the end. This is a book to keep on your bedside table, or in the kitchen, or the garage, or anyplace else you might want to pick it up. Follow Clemens' own advice in reading it, as he did in writing it: Start reading at no particular point; wander at your free will all over it; read only about the thing that interests you for the moment; drop it the moment its interest threatens to pale; and turn your eye upon the new and more interesting thing that has intruded itself into your gaze meantime. Believe me, there are plenty of these in this wonderful volume."
Literary Review

"One sees a mind bubbling and hears a uniquely American voice."
BookPage

"This is vintage Twain—timeless, and still germane."
Christian Science Monitor

"Twain is frequently sad and cynical in these late-in-life writings (just a few years before his death) but his devastating wit and sharp-eyed commentary are on full display as well."
San Francisco Chronicle - Jonah Raskin

"The publishing sensation of the year."
Dallas Morning News

"What we’ve inherited is no ordinary book. You may begin at the beginning and read to its end; you may reach into it like a grab bag and enjoy whatever you pull out. It doesn’t matter."
The Christian Science Monitor

"Twain ambles through eternal truths and trivia, telling of world events and personal piques. Witticisms appear at random intervals, and the ensuing laughter can be dangerous to the lower extremities if one doesn’t have a vicelike grip on this weighty tome."
The Washington Post

"In case you had any doubt about it, the new book demonstrates that Twain dictated as well as he wrote."
The Buffalo News

"One of the more marvelous literary projects of our time."
Booklist - Bryce Christensen

"Meticulously edited. . . . A treasure deserving shelf space next to Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer." STARRED REVIEW
Bloomberg Pursuits

"Twain is incapable of going more than a few paragraphs without making you laugh or think hard. . . . Don't loan this book out: you'll never see it again."
The Sacramento Bee

"Another delightful round of humor and candor, reminiscence and insider sketches of the people and politics of Twain’s day."
Kirkus Reviews
In which the great American author, aided by his scholarly editors, continues to spin out a great yarn covering his long life. In the year of his birth, writes Twain, John Marshall, the noted jurist and chief justice of the Supreme Court, died. A collection was taken up among lawyers to erect a statue to him, but then "a prodigious new event of some kind or other suddenly absorbed the whole nation and drove the matter of the monument out of everybody's mind." The money sat in a bank account for half a century collecting interest, and suddenly, in 1883 or so, it was rediscovered and used to build the memorial that now stands in the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. The statue is a material fact, but it is Twain's storytelling that makes it come alive. Having written despairingly of the human race, and especially of its more murderous representatives, such as Belgium's King Leopold, he takes the rare fact of honest politicians and fiduciaries as a tonic: "It takes the bitter taste out of my mouth to recall that beautiful incident." Twain emerges as an unflinching social critic with a long list of targets, including the robber barons of his day and imperialist militarists like Leonard Wood. Yet, in this most personal of works, Twain also reserves plenty of spite for miscreant publishers: "Webster kept back a book of mine, ‘A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur,' as long as he could, and finally published it so surreptitiously that it took two or three years to find out that there was any such book." Twain is, as ever, a sharply honed and contrarian wit, as quick to lampoon himself as anyone else. He is also capable of Whitmanesque flights: "I am," he declares, "the entire human race compacted together"--for better and for worse. Twain admirers will find this volume indispensable and will eagerly await the third volume.
Library Journal
11/15/2013
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835–1910), known by his pen name Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer), requested that his autobiography remain unpublished until 100 years after his death. In 2010, the Mark Twain Project, led by editors Griffin and Harriet E. Smith, released Volume 1 as part of the larger "Mark Twain Papers" series. Volume 2 boasts the writer's stories, observations, opinions, and everything else in between, arranged by the date of their dictation to stenographer Josephine Hobby and author Albert Bigelow Paine. A full 281 pages are dedicated to thorough explanatory notes, appendixes, references, and an index. As much a sensitive and articulate historical work as an autobiography, the book is almost inexhaustible in its content—readers are treated to a biting editorial on mesmerism, a sweet critique of Twain's daughter's biography of her father, and sage opinions regarding American statesman John Hay, all within four pages. Paradoxically, what seems like a mountain of anecdotal scraps and opinions results in a clear picture of Clemens as Twain. VERDICT Highly recommended to dedicated fans and Twain scholars as well as readers of 19th-century American history, autobiography, and literary history.—Benjamin Brudner, Curry Coll. Lib., Milton, MA
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520272781
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/5/2013
  • Series: Mark Twain Papers , #11
  • Edition number: 11
  • Pages: 776
  • Sales rank: 39,913
  • Product dimensions: 7.62 (w) x 10.24 (h) x 2.42 (d)

Meet the Author


Benjamin Griffin and Harriet Elinor Smith are editors 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.

Biography

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri; his family moved to the port town of Hannibal four years later. His father, an unsuccessful farmer, died when Twain was eleven. Soon afterward the boy began working as an apprentice printer, and by age sixteen he was writing newspaper sketches. He left Hannibal at eighteen to work as an itinerant printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. From 1857 to 1861 he worked on Mississippi steamboats, advancing from cub pilot to licensed pilot.

After river shipping was interrupted by the Civil War, Twain headed west with his brother Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the Nevada Territory. Settling in Carson City, he tried his luck at prospecting and wrote humorous pieces for a range of newspapers. Around this time he first began using the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a riverboat term. Relocating to San Francisco, he became a regular newspaper correspondent and a contributor to the literary magazine the Golden Era. He made a five-month journey to Hawaii in 1866 and the following year traveled to Europe to report on the first organized tourist cruise. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) consolidated his growing reputation as humorist and lecturer.

After his marriage to Livy Langdon, Twain settled first in Buffalo, New York, and then for two decades in Hartford, Connecticut. His European sketches were expanded into The Innocents Abroad (1869), followed by Roughing It (1872), an account of his Western adventures; both were enormously successful. Twain's literary triumphs were offset by often ill-advised business dealings (he sank thousands of dollars, for instance, in a failed attempt to develop a new kind of typesetting machine, and thousands more into his own ultimately unsuccessful publishing house) and unrestrained spending that left him in frequent financial difficulty, a pattern that was to persist throughout his life.

Following The Gilded Age (1873), written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, Twain began a literary exploration of his childhood memories of the Mississippi, resulting in a trio of masterpieces --The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), on which he had been working for nearly a decade. Another vein, of historical romance, found expression in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), the satirical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), while he continued to draw on his travel experiences in A Tramp Abroad (1880) and Following the Equator (1897). His close associates in these years included William Dean Howells, Bret Harte, and George Washington Cable, as well as the dying Ulysses S. Grant, whom Twain encouraged to complete his memoirs, published by Twain's publishing company in 1885.

For most of the 1890s Twain lived in Europe, as his life took a darker turn with the death of his daughter Susy in 1896 and the worsening illness of his daughter Jean. The tone of Twain's writing also turned progressively more bitter. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a detective story hinging on the consequences of slavery, was followed by powerful anti-imperialist and anticolonial statements such as 'To the Person Sitting in Darkness' (1901), 'The War Prayer' (1905), and 'King Leopold's Soliloquy' (1905), and by the pessimistic sketches collected in the privately published What Is Man? (1906). The unfinished novel The Mysterious Stranger was perhaps the most uncompromisingly dark of all Twain's later works. In his last years, his financial troubles finally resolved, Twain settled near Redding, Connecticut, and died in his mansion, Stormfield, on April 21, 1910.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens (real name); Sieur Louis de Conte
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1835
    2. Place of Birth:
      Florida, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      April 21, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Redding, Connecticut

Read an Excerpt

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN VOLUME 2


By BENJAMIN GRIFFIN, HARRIET ELINOR SMITH

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS

Copyright © 2013 Mark Twain Foundation
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-520-27278-1



CHAPTER 1

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN


Monday, April 2, 1906

Government of new Territory of Nevada—Governor Nye and the practical jokers—Mr. Clemens begins journalistic life on Virginia City Enterprise—Reports legislative sessions—He and Orion prosper—Orion builds twelve-thousand-dollar house—Governor Nye turns Territory of Nevada into a State.


PROMOTION FOR BARNES, WHOM TILLMAN BERATED

Had Woman Ejected from White House; to be Postmaster.

MERRITT GETS NEW PLACE

Present Postmaster at Washington to be Made Collector at Niagara—Platt Not Consulted.

Special to The New York Times.

WASHINGTON, March 31.—President Roosevelt surprised the capital this afternoon by announcing that he would appoint Benjamin F. Barnes as Postmaster of Washington, to succeed John A. Merritt of New York. Mr. Merritt, who for several years has been Postmaster here, has been chosen for Collector of the Port of Niagara, succeeding the late Major James Low.

Mr. Barnes is at present assistant secretary to the President. Only a short time ago he figured extensively in the newspapers for having ordered the forcible ejection from the White House of Mrs. Minor Morris, a Washington woman who had called to see the President. What attracted attention to the case was not the ejection itself, but the violence with which it was performed.

Mrs. Morris, who had been talking to Barnes in an ordinary conversational tone, and with no indications of excitement, so far as the spectators observed, was seized by two policemen and dragged by the arms out of the building and across the asphalt walk in front of the White House, a distance corresponding to that of two ordinary city blocks. During a part of the journey a negro carried her by the feet. Her dress was torn and trampled.

She was locked up on a charge of disorderly conduct, and when it was learned that she would be released on that charge a policeman, a relative of Barnes's, was sent to the House of Detention to prefer a charge of insanity against her so that she would have to be held. She was held accordingly until two physicians had examined her and pronounced her sane. He was denounced by Mrs. Morris, by various newspapers, and by Mr. Tillman in the Senate.

The appointment of Barnes to be Postmaster so soon after this incident has created endless talk here. It is taken to be the President's way of expressing confidence in Barnes and repaying him for the pain he suffered as a result of the newspaper criticisms of his course.


Orion Clemens again. To continue.

The Government of the new Territory of Nevada was an interesting menagerie. Governor Nye was an old and seasoned politician from New York—politician, not statesman. He had white hair; he was in fine physical condition; he had a winningly friendly face and deep lustrous brown eyes that could talk as a native language the tongue of every feeling, every passion, every emotion. His eyes could out-talk his tongue, and this is saying a good deal, for he was a very remarkable talker, both in private and on the stump. He was a shrewd man; he generally saw through surfaces and perceived what was going on inside without being suspected of having an eye on the matter.

When grown-up persons indulge in practical jokes, the fact gauges them. They have lived narrow, obscure, and ignorant lives, and at full manhood they still retain and cherish a job lot of left-over standards and ideals that would have been discarded with their boyhood if they had then moved out into the world and a broader life. There were many practical jokers in the new Territory. I do not take pleasure in exposing this fact, for I liked those people; but what I am saying is true. I wish I could say a kindlier thing about them instead—that they were burglars, or hat-rack thieves, or something like that, that wouldn't be utterly uncomplimentary. I would prefer it, but I can't say those things, they would not be true. These people were practical jokers, and I will not try to disguise it. In other respects they were plenty good enough people; honest people; reputable and likable. They played practical jokes upon each other with success, and got the admiration and applause and also the envy of the rest of the community. Naturally they were eager to try their arts on big game, and that was what the Governor was. But they were not able to score. They made several efforts, but the Governor defeated these efforts without any trouble and went on smiling his pleasant smile as if nothing had happened. Finally the joker-chiefs of Carson City and Virginia City conspired together to see if their combined talent couldn't win a victory, for the jokers were getting into a very uncomfortable place. The people were laughing at them, instead of at their proposed victim. They banded themselves together to the number of ten and invited the Governor to what was a most extraordinary attention in those days—pickled oyster-stew and champagne—luxuries very seldom seen in that region, and existing rather as fabrics of the imagination than as facts.

The Governor took me with him. He said disparagingly,

"It's a poor invention. It doesn't deceive. Their idea is to get me drunk and leave me under the table, and from their standpoint this will be very funny. But they don't know me. I am familiar with champagne and have no prejudices against it."

The fate of the joke was not decided until two o'clock in the morning. At that hour the Governor was serene, genial, comfortable, contented, happy, and sober, although he was so full that he couldn't laugh without shedding champagne tears. Also, at that hour the last joker joined his comrades under the table, drunk to the last perfection. The Governor remarked,

"This is a dry place, Sam, let's go and get something to drink and go to bed."

The Governor's official menagerie had been drawn from the humblest ranks of his constituents at home—harmless good fellows who had helped in his campaigns, and now they had their reward in petty salaries payable in greenbacks that were worth next to nothing. Those boys had a hard time to make both ends meet. Orion's salary was eighteen hundred dollars a year, and he couldn't even support his dictionary on it. But the Irishwoman who had come out on the Governor's staff charged the menagerie only ten dollars a week apiece for board and lodging. Orion and I were of her boarders and lodgers; and so, on these cheap terms the silver I had brought from home held out very well.

At first I roamed about the country seeking silver, but at the end of '62 or the beginning of '63 when I came up from Aurora to begin a journalistic life on the Virginia City Enterprise, I was presently sent down to Carson City to report the legislative session. Orion was soon very popular with the members of the legislature, because they found that whereas they couldn't usually trust each other, nor anybody else, they could trust him. He easily held the belt for honesty in that country, but it didn't do him any good in a pecuniary way, because he had no talent for either persuading or scaring legislators. But I was differently situated. I was there every day in the legislature to distribute compliment and censure with evenly balanced justice and spread the same over half a page of the Enterprise every morning, consequently I was an influence. I got the legislature to pass a wise and very necessary law requiring every corporation doing business in the Territory to record its charter in full, without skipping a word, in a record to be kept by the Secretary of the Territory—my brother. All the charters were framed in exactly the same words. For this record-service he was authorized to charge forty cents a folio of a hundred words for making the record; also five dollars for furnishing a certificate of each record, and so on. Everybody had a toll-road franchise but no toll-road. But the franchise had to be recorded and paid for. Everybody was a mining corporation, and had to have himself recorded and pay for it. Very well, we prospered. The record-service paid an average of a thousand dollars a month, in gold.

Governor Nye was often absent from the Territory. He liked to run down to San Francisco every little while and enjoy a rest from Territorial civilization. Nobody complained, for he was prodigiously popular. He had been a stage-driver in his early days in New York or New England, and had acquired the habit of remembering names and faces, and of making himself agreeable to his passengers. As a politician this had been valuable to him, and he kept his arts in good condition by practice. By the time he had been Governor a year, he had shaken hands with every human being in the Territory of Nevada, and after that he always knew these people instantly at sight and could call them by name. The whole population, of twenty thousand persons, were his personal friends, and he could do anything he chose to do and count upon their being contented with it. Whenever he was absent from the Territory—which was generally—Orion served his office in his place, as Acting Governor, a title which was soon and easily shortened to "Governor." Mrs. Governor Clemens enjoyed being a Governor's wife. No one on this planet ever enjoyed a distinction more than she enjoyed that one. Her delight in being the head of society was so frank that it disarmed criticism, and even envy. Being the Governor's wife and head of society, she looked for a proper kind of house to live in—a house commensurate with these dignities—and she easily persuaded Orion to build that house. Orion could be persuaded to do anything. He recklessly built and furnished a house at a cost of twelve thousand dollars, and there was no other house in that sagebrush capital that could approach this property for style and cost.

When Governor Nye's four-year term was drawing to a close, the mystery of why he had ever consented to leave the great State of New York and help inhabit that jack-rabbit desert was solved: he had gone out there in order to become a United States Senator.

All that was now necessary was to turn the Territory into a State. He did it without any difficulty. That patch of sand and that sparse population were not well fitted for the heavy burden of a state government, but no matter, the people were willing to have the change, and so the Governor's game was made.

Orion's game was made too, apparently, for he was as popular because of his honesty as the Governor was for more substantial reasons; but at the critical moment the inborn capriciousness of his character rose up without warning, and disaster followed.


Tuesday, April 3, 1906

The Barnes incident again—Barnes appointed to postmastership of Washington—Mr. Clemens prepares speech on King Leopold of Belgium, but suppresses it after learning that our Government will do nothing in the matter—Intends to speak at Majestic Theatre on "The American Gentleman" but is defeated by length of first part of program—Theodore Roosevelt the American gentleman—Mark Twain letter sells for forty-three dollars at Nast sale—Report cabled that Mr. Clemens was dying, in London—Reporters interview him for American papers.

BARNES'S APPOINTMENT ANGERS WASHINGTON

"White House Strong-Arm Methods," Says a Local Newspaper.

SENATE MAY HOLD IT UP

New Postmaster Characterized as a Carpetbagger—Citizens Say Selection Is an Insult.

Special to The New York Times.

WASHINGTON, April 2.—The President's selection of Benjamin F. Barnes, his assistant secretary, to be Postmaster of Washington has raised a storm. It is being criticised as a "carpetbag" appointment, Barnes being a New Jersey man. Members of the House and Senate criticise it, and it is reported that an effort will be made to defeat the confirmation.

The feeling on the subject is shown to-night in the appearance of The Evening Star, the Administration's strongest supporter in the city press. The Barnes matter breaks out all over the paper. First, there is a cartoon representing the President handing the District of Columbia an April fool cigar, which explodes, the face of Barnes appearing in the smoke, while the President shouts "April Fool!" Next there are three columns of interviews with prominent citizens of the District and members of Congress, all condemning the appointment.

The leading editorial article is devoted to the subject, and says that the President has rewarded "his tactless and too strenuous bouncer" by giving him the Washington Post Office at double his present salary. The Star says:

"There remain, logically, to be rewarded at the expense of the District, the policemen who shared with Mr. Barnes the honors in the Morris drag-out. What shall their harvest be—a local Judgeship, Commissionership, or Superintendency of Police?"

The Star prints a string of clippings from other papers ridiculing the appointment. Then, all over the editorial page are scattered detached paragraphs like these:

The application of White House strong-arm methods to the local Postal Service may relieve the patrons of the office of the necessity of licking their own stamps.

Much as Oyster Bay approves of the President it would rise in indignation if he used his influence to supplant its local men in local offices.

The April Fool wag becomes less violent as the years go by. His style of humor is but seldom exploited to any shocking extent. The recent appointment of a Postmaster for Washington offers a contrary argument, but it is only one of those exceptions which prove the rule.

When in future your letters seem to have been hit by a cyclone, passed through a train wreck, and run through a sausage machine you will know that they have come out of the Washington Post Office. But don't go to the Post Office to complain unless in need of exercise. Ladies should observe extreme caution in this matter.

Some of the President's local proteges are as enthusiastic for Mr. Barnes as they were for the whipping post not long ago.

There is a strong feeling that in the matter of appointments Niagara Falls has very much the better of the transaction.


The last reference is to the transfer of Postmaster Merritt to Niagara Falls to make room for Mr. Barnes. Finally The Star prints letters from citizens to the editor protesting against the appointment.

Among the interviews with prominent citizens is one with R. Ross Perry, a leading lawyer, who says: "Apparently the President thinks this district should be governed as the Romans governed a conquered province." D. William Oyster calls it "an insult to our community." Mason W. Richardson says: "We seem to have no rights that are worthy of respect." John Ridout says, "in view of the temperament of Mr. Barnes, as disclosed in the Morris incident, the prospect for satisfactory interviews between him and citizens acting in the exercise of their right to criticise the administration of his office is not encouraging."


So far as I can remember, I have kept track of the Barnes incident by occasionally inserting an informing clipping from the newspapers. If anything is lacking from this procession of signal-posts it is the President's letter of some weeks ago. Maybe I inserted it. Possibly I didn't. But it is no matter. Either way will do. It was splendidly brutal, frankly heartless. It contained not a word of pity for the abused lady; and an equally striking feature of it was that it contained not a word of pity for the President himself. Surely everybody else pitied him, and was ashamed of him. It contained not a word of rebuke, nor even of criticism of Barnes's conduct, and its approval of it was so pronounced that the spirit of it amounted to praise.

And now the President has appointed this obscene slave to the postmastership of Washington. The daring of it—the stupid blindness of it—is amazing. It would be unbelievable if it emanated from any human being in the United States except our incredible President.

When Choate and I agreed to speak at Carnegie Hall on the 22d of January, along with Booker Washington, in the interest of his Tuskegee Institute, I at first took that thief and assassin, Leopold II King of the Belgians, as my text, and carefully prepared a speech—wrote it out in full, in fact, several weeks beforehand. But when the appointed date was drawing near I began to grow suspicious of our Government's attitude toward Leopold and his fiendishnesses. Twice I went to Washington and conferred with the State Department. Then I began to suspect that the Congo Reform Association's conviction that our Government's pledged honor was at stake in the Congo matter was an exaggeration; that the Association was attaching meanings to certain public documents connected with the Congo which the strict sense of the documents did not confirm. A final visit to the State Department settled the matter. The Department had kept its promise, previously made to the President and to me, that it would examine into the matter exhaustively and see how our Government stood. It was found that of the fourteen Christian Governments pledged to watch over Leopold and keep him within treaty limits, our Government was not one. Our Government was only sentimentally concerned, not officially, not practically, not by any form of pledge or promise. Our Government could interfere in the form of prayer or protest, but so could a Sunday-school. I knew that the Administration was going to be properly and diplomatically polite, and keep out of the muddle; therefore I privately withdrew from the business of agitating the Congo matter in the united States, and wrote the Boston branch that I thought it would be a pity to wring the hearts of this nation further with the atrocities Leopold was committing upon those helpless black natives of the Congo, since this would be to harrow up the feelings of the nation to no purpose—since the nation itself could do nothing save through its Government, and the Government would of course do nothing.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN VOLUME 2 by BENJAMIN GRIFFIN, HARRIET ELINOR SMITH. Copyright © 2013 Mark Twain Foundation. Excerpted by permission of UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Dictations....................     xiv     

Acknowledgments....................     xvii     

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN....................     1     

Explanatory Notes....................     457     

Appendixes....................          

Samuel L. Clemens: A Brief Chronology....................     649     

Family Biographies....................     652     

Previous Publication....................     656     

Note on the Text....................     661     

Word Division in This Volume....................     663     

References....................     665     

Index....................     697     


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 26, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Absolutely brilliant. Even from beyond the grave, Twain is in a

    Absolutely brilliant. Even from beyond the grave, Twain is in a league by himself. This is Twain’s best work ever!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 15, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    An amazing book about Mark Twain told in his own words. It is a

    An amazing book about Mark Twain told in his own words. It is a stunning look into the mind of a brilliant man.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Full of humor and pathos

    It is very helpful if you have read volume one of his autobiography. Nevertheless, you only have to read a few pages of volume two to discovered twin's insight into the human condition. He has a unique view of his America that is just as applicable then as it is today. I wonder what he would have said of our politicians and the Republican shutdown. How illuminating it would have been. Highly recommended for intelligent readers of all ages.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Fantastic work

    I have read several works by the autbor, and this one continues to give insight into the authentic Christianity that the author has been advocating for decades now. The form of Christianity espoused in this book, like in many other works by this author, maybe hard to swallow for some, but to me, it rings true. I was a little apprehensive about the content because of the title, but I'm glad I decided to add this book to my collection. It was a fast read for me, and like his other books, mind-blowing in its revelations. It actually made me want to go back and read the Gospel of John again, now being able to see the story of Jesus in a brand new light.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2014

    Continuing with the Story of Mark Twain

    Since I have already read the first part of the life of Mark Twain, I had to read this second part as well. He certainly had an exciting life. Unfortunately two of his three daughters and his wife all had poor health. Olivia his wife was never in good health. Suzy, the eldest died of meningitis and the middle daughter was epileptic. He made some bad investments, but got to travel to a number of places. Some people may find it somewhat dry.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)