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Mark Twain

God’s Fool

After laughing their way through his classic and beloved depictions of nineteenth-century American life, few readers would suspect that Mark Twain’s last years were anything but happy and joyful. They would be wrong. Contrary to the myth perpetrated by his literary executors Twain ended his life as a frustrated writer plagued by paranoia. He suffered personal tragedies, got involved in questionable business ventures, and was a demanding and controlling father and husband.  As Mark Twain: God’s Fool demonstrates, the difficult circumstances of Twain’s personal life make his humorous output all the more surprising and admirable.  

 “Ham[lin] Hill remains among the smartest, most honest, and most humane of Twain scholars—and . . . God’s Fool parades those qualities on every page.”   Jeff Steinbrink, Franklin & Marshall College

“Fills a great, long-standing need for a thoroughly researched book about Mark Twain’s twilight years. . . . Splendidly, grippingly written and excellently documented. . . . Likely to be a standard work for as long as anyone can foresee.”   Choice


336 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 1973

Biography and Letters

Literature and Literary Criticism: American and Canadian Literature

Reviews

“One of the best and most scholarly writers on the subject of that puzzling and paradoxical genius Samuel Clemens is Hamlin Hill. His book, Mark Twain: God’s Fool,…. is certainly one of the most reliable and readable books in the whole huge library of Twain biographical studies. . . . Hill makes sense of a confusing and often contradictory set of data. This is a notable, graceful, convincing book.”

New Republic

“[Mark Twain: God’s Fool] fills a great, long-standing need for a thoroughly researched book about Mark Twain’s twilight years—the last decade…. Hill’s account is splendidly, grippingly written and excellently documented…. [and] is likely to be a standard work for as long as anyone can foresee.”

Choice

"At present this is the definitive study of Clemens’s last years."

Library Journal

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

I. INDIAN SUMMER (1900 to Summer 1904)

II. GOTTERDAMMERUNG (Summer 1904 to Summer 1907)

III. THE DERELICT (Summer 1907 to 1910)

Epilogue: The Last Voyage

Source Notes
Index

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