Note: during 2014–16, our holdings of Clemens's notebooks are being photographed for preservation purposes.
Note: some of our page URLs will change as part of the redesign of The Bancroft Library's website, summer 2015.
Mark Twain's Writings: San Francisco 1865–1866
The Mark Twain Project expects to publish Mark Twain's Writings: San Francisco 1865–1866, edited by Rick Bucci, with the University of California Press in 2017. Because it has enjoyed advance publicity, we have a press release—herewith an excerpt:
From these source documents nearly 120 discrete texts, a few complete, most fragmentary, will be presented in their presumed chronological order, with the historical commentary needed to understand the 150-year-old circumstances of composition—a San Francisco teeming with stray dogs, runaway horses, live chickens, corrupt officials, ruined millionaires, plotting Fenians, literary bohemians, and daring actresses. Mark Twain's pen sketched them all.
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 3
Created from March 1907 to December 1909, these dictations—to be published in October 2015—present Mark Twain at the end of his life: receiving an honorary degree from Oxford University; railing against Theodore Roosevelt, founding numerous clubs; incredulous at an exhibition of the Holy Grail; credulous about the authorship of Shakespeare's plays; relaxing in Bermuda; observing (and investing in) new technologies. The Autobiography's "Closing Words" movingly commemorate his daughter Jean, who died on Christmas Eve 1909. Also included in this volume is the previously unpublished "Ashcroft-Lyon Manuscript," Mark Twain's caustic indictment of his "putrescent pair" of secretaries and the havoc that erupted in his house during their residency.
A Family Sketch and Other Private Writings
Mark Twain began to write "A Family Sketch" in response to the early death of his eldest daughter, Susy,
but the manuscript grew under his hands to become an exuberant account of the entire household. His record of the
childrens' sayings—"Small Foolishnesses"—is next, followed by the related manuscript "At the Farm."
Also included are selections from Livy's 1885 diary and an authoritative edition of Susy's biography of her father,
written when she was a teenager. Newly edited from the original manuscripts, this anthology is a unique record of a fascinating family.
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2
The eagerly awaited second volume 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. A digital edition with a complete textual apparatusnot included in the print versionis available at Mark Twain Project Online.
The German edition, Neue Geheimnisse meiner Autobiographie, is available from Aufbau Verlag as of October 2014.
Translations into French, Japanese, and Russian are expected soon.
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1
At the time of his death in 1910, Mark Twain left his last major literary workan autobiographyunpublished and stipulated that the entire unexpurgated work should not be issued for at least a hundred years after his death. In November 2010, the year that marks the centenary of Twain's death, UC Press has issued the first volume of a complete three-volume critical edition of the autobiography, edited by the staff of the Mark Twain Project. A digital edition with a complete textual apparatusnot included in the print versionis available at Mark Twain Project Online.
Translations have been published in Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, and Russian.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is 125!
To celebrate, the University of California Press is issuing a new Mark Twain Library edition. Available June 2010, this 125th anniversary edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is expanded with updated notes and references, and images of original documentsletters, advertisements, playbillssome never before published, from Twain's first book tour.
Edited by Victor Fischer and Lin Salamo with Harriet Elinor Smith and the late Walter Blair. With the original illustrations by E. W. Kemble and John Harley.
Who Is Mark Twain?
Published by Harper Studio in cooperation with the Mark Twain Project, Who Is Mark Twain? is a collection of 24 previously unpublished pieces written by Mark Twain on such diverse topics as Jane Austen, free speech, undertaking as a profession, and moreall but three from the Mark Twain Papers.
Who Is Mark Twain? is available in stores and through online vendors.
University of California launches
The University of California is pleased to announce the launch of the
beta version of
Mark Twain Project Online (MTPO), a digital critical edition of the writings of Mark
MTPO is a joint undertaking of the Mark Twain Papers and Project, the California Digital
Library, and University of California Press. It is funded in part by a generous grant
from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Mark Twain Project, and is supported
by a number of institutions and individuals. The Mark Twain Foundation, a perpetual
charitable trust that owns the publication rights to all of Mark Twain’s writings still
protected by copyright, has given UC Press and Mark Twain Project Online exclusive rights
to publish that work both in print and electronically.
At beta launch, the site includes more than twenty-three hundred letters written between
1853 and 1880, including nearly 100 facsimiles of originals. Users can also
search for information about Mark Twain’s complete correspondence across his life,
including letters to him and his family. In future years, the site will release more
of the nearly ten thousand known letters, including many never-before published;
electronic editions of many of Mark Twain’s most famous literary works; the most
complete catalog of Mark Twain’s writings currently available; and, in 2010, Mark
Twain’s Autobiography, one of the most eagerly-awaited posthumous publications in
We invite you to view
Mark Twain Project Online and read more about the making of this landmark online
Recent Print Editions
Available in bookstores or by order from the
University of California Press.
BESTSELLER! Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living:
A Handbook for the Damned Human Race.
Edited by Lin Salamo, Victor Fischer, and Michael B. Frank.
"This wonderful book illustrates precisely why we can never have
enough Twain. His humor is timeless, his wisdom about all things
without equal." Ken Burns
"Masterfully edited." Dave Eggers
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Edited by Victor Fischer and
The text of the new edition is based on
Mark Twain's complete, original manuscript--including its first 665 pages,
which had been lost for over a hundred years when they turned up in 1990 in a
Los Angeles attic. A new introduction spells out in detail the effect of the
newly discovered manuscript on the text. The
acclaimed 2001 Mark Twain Library
edition was drawn from this comprehensive
scholarly edition in the Works of Mark Twain series.
Is He Dead?: A Comedy in Three Acts. Edited by Shelley Fisher Fishkin.
The play is from the Mark Twain Papers collection. It was written in 1898 but had not
been previously published or produced on stage.
This edition of Is He Dead? is the first in a new series originated
by UC Press entitled Jumping Frogs: Undiscovered, Rediscovered, and
Celebrated Writings of Mark Twain.
Mark Twain's Letters,
Volume 6: 1874-1875. Edited by Michael B. Frank and Harriet Elinor Smith.
During these two years, Clemens finished writing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,
published Mark Twain's Sketches, New and Old, became a prized contributor to the
Atlantic Monthly, and turned The Gilded Age, the novel he had co-authored
with Charles Dudley Warner, into one of the most popular comedies of the nineteenth-century
American stage. This exemplary volume has been awarded the Modern Language Association's
Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters: it is "a book that can be
read as a work of literature in its own right."
Answers to Correspondents from the MTP
We often hear from Mark Twain fans who are understandably excited to have
found an early edition with a signature and inscription that look genuine.
Alas, for many the excitement is short lived, because when it comes to
Twain's collected works, a signature is not always what it seems.
The confusion arises because there are several multi-volume sets of
Twain's works which contain a steel-engraved facsimile of a handwritten
statement and signature. The statement reads: "This is the authorized
Uniform Edition of all my books. Mark Twain." It appears in popular
series such as the American Publishing Company's Riverdale and Underwood
Editions, and Harper and Brother Publishers' Hillcrest and Author's
The Charles L. Webster & Company's Mark Twain's Library of Humor also
has a stamped facsimile of Clemens's handwritten ...
The Mark Twain Luncheon Club, established in early 2001, hopes to
attract Twainophiles, who, by contributing $1500 annually,
will support the work of the Mark Twain Project. Members are
invited to two luncheons a year, to hear guest speakers expatiate on
the life and work of Mark Twain.
Previous Luncheon Club speakers and performers
include the San Francisco Choral Artists, McAvoy Layne, Shelley Fisher-Fishkin, Ron Powers, Karen Lystra,
Ken Burns, Hal Holbrook, and a dramatic and musical performance drawn from Mark Twain's
earliest professional writing of journalism, letters, and tall tales.
For more information about the Mark Twain Luncheon Club, please write
to the Mark Twain Project address on our