Mark Twain in the Company of Women


Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Book for 1995

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Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Book for 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[This book] supports a valuable idea, that Samuel Langhorne Clemens's relationships with women and with feminism contributed to his creative life to an unmistakably large extent. . . . Skandera-Trombley unearths a stunning array of material on the intersection of nineteenth-century American feminism and the nineteenth century's most important literary figure."—Nineteenth-Century Literature

"This book is to be applauded for its ambition, for its revisioning of the positive power of the 'company of women' on Clemens's career, and for its careful and revealing historical research."—American Historical Review

Skandera-Trombley combines a biographical study of Clemens' life with his wife, Olivia Langdon, and their three daughters, Susy, Clara, and Jean, with new readings of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Personal Recollection of Joan of Arc. She contends that Clemens intentionally surrounded himself with women, and that his capacity to produce extended fictions had almost as much to do with the environment shaped by his female family as with the talent and genius of the writer himself. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812216196
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 932,777
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
1 Polishing Off a Genius 1
2 The Charmed Circle 24
3 "Youth" and "Gravity" 40
4 Elmira, Queen of the Southern Tier: Era of Reform, Part 1 65
5 Elmira's Cultural Influence: Era of Reform, Part 2 104
6 "I am woman's rights": Olivia Langdon Clemens's Feminist Intimates 131
7 The Circle Dissolves 155
8 The Resurgence of Mark Twain 171
Epilogue 197
Primary Works Cited 199
Secondary Works Cited 205
Index 211
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