This summer, Matt Seybold launched a new series, “Mark Twain’s Portfolio,” in which he explores Sam Clemens’s career as an entrepreneur and investor. The first installment in the series, discussing the United Fruit Company, was named “A Great Weekend Read” by Politico and “Best of The Week” by The Browser. A second installment covers the Anaconda and Amalgamated Copper Companies. Further episodes will follow in coming months.
August 11th was the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad. The Center for Mark Twain Studies is marking the occasion by publishing reflections by several scholars who have studied the book and the voyage upon which it was based. Jeanne Campbell Reesman of University of Texas – San Antonio discusses Twain’s changing perspectives on India. Jeffrey Melton of University of Alabama argues that The Innocents Abroad “changed everything” for American Travel Writing. We also published selections from the 1869 reviews. More installments of “150 Years of The Innocents Abroad” are also in the works.
“An Ode To The Innocents Abroad“ by Jeffrey Melton
“From Innocent to India: Mark Twain’s Evolving Sympathies” by Jeanne Campbell Reesman
“150 Years of Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad“ by Matt Seybold
In September we published a digitized edition of the rare manuscript, Drinking With Twain, written by the first mayor of Elmira Heights, Frank Kelsey, and featuring his somewhat unreliable recollections of the social life of Elmira in the late Nineteenth Century. Only five hundred copies of this self-published pamphlet were printed in 1936, very few of which survive. This is the first time it has been made available to the general public.
In Hannibal earlier this year, Alan Rankin shared an intimate and heart-wrenching account of his discovery of the 1924 diary of Nina Gabrilowitsch, Mark Twain’s granddaughter. Only after becoming fascinated with its author did he learn that she was part of a famous family and that the remainder of her life had been marred by tragedy. His painstakingly-researched and tearjerking tribute is now available for all to read, including selections from the diary.