An enduring mystery of Mark Twain’s life concerns the events of his last decade, following the death of his wife of thirty-four years and up to his own death in 1910. Despite many biographies, it is unclear how his experiences in those final years affected him, personally and professionally. It was believed Twain went to his death a beloved, wisecracking iconoclastic American, undeterred by life’s sorrows and challenges. Suspecting there was more to the story, Laura Skandera Trombley, the preeminent Twain scholar at work today, went in search of Isabel Lyon, the one woman who possibly held the answers to her questions about Twain’s life and writings. Following sixteen years of research, Mark Twain’s Other Woman reveals Lyon’s daily journals, the only detailed record of Twain’s last years that were overlooked by Twain’s previous biographers. Raised in Southern California, Trombley attended Pepperdine University where she earned her B.A. and M.A., and the University of Southern California, where she earned a Ph.D. in English literature. She is the author of Mark Twain in the Company of Women and is the president of Pitzer College in Claremont, California, where she lives with her husband and son. (jasbro)
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