Mark Twain's Autobiography Published 100 Years After Writer's Death


During his lifetime Mark Twain always wanted to write an autobiography but could not really find a way to do it. In 1906, four years before he died he hired biographers and stenographers which he dictated his story to. He wanted them, however, to wait a hundred years before publishing it.

Although most of Mark Twain’s autobiography has been made public over the years a full book with the complete memoirs has not been published. This year, the first 750 pages have been released with two more volumes planned to be published in the coming years.

At first publishers thought there would not be much interest in the book. They only expected literature students and scholars to buy copies of the book, but, as it seems everyone is interested in the famous author. At first only 7,500 copies were planned. But the  Autobiography of Mark Twain  hit the bestseller lists and 275,000 copies have gone off the shelves.

The author of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn tells stories from his childhood, sometimes in a funny, sometimes in an angry way.  He also writes about politics and religion. Some of his views are very controversial. In one episode he attacks America’s leaders as imperialists because they took the Philippines as a colony.

Although it is a literary book, it is not too hard to read. It contains letters, diary entries and pictures. The book does not have a continuous plot. You can start reading it anywhere without having to be afraid of getting lost.


Mark Twain - A Famous American Writer

Mark Twain - A Famous American Writer



  • although = while
  • autobiography = a book that someone writes about themselves
  • contain = to have in them
  • continuous = unbroken, always going on
  • controversial = much discussed
  • copy = one of many books that are exactly the same
  • diary entry = when you write down the things that happen to you every day
  • episode = chapter
  • hire = to give someone a job to do
  • however = but
  • imperialist = a person who wants to rule over other countries
  • make public = to show to all the people
  • memoirs = a book written by a famous person in which they write about their life and experiences
  • plot = storyline
  • scholar = a person who knows a lot about a certain topic
  • shelfshelves = here: bookstores
  • stenographer = a person who writes down short forms of words and signs to record what someone says
  • volume = a book that is part of a set of books about the same topic