Mrs. Mark Twain

The Life of Olivia Langdon Clemens, 1845–1904


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About the Book

This is the first book-length biography of Olivia Langdon Clemens, Mark Twain’s wife. Livy was an intelligent, well-educated woman of Victorian values and sensibilities who lived a charmed and tragic life.
Raised in the wealthiest family in Elmira, New York, she married the man destined to become the best known American in the world. She befriended the literary elite of America and Europe, traveled the globe, dined with royalty.
Yet her life was filled with tragedy. Her son was born prematurely and died at 19 months. Her oldest daughter died of spinal meningitis at 24. Her youngest daughter was an epileptic. Her husband’s bad investments drove the family into bankruptcy. Her frail health kept her bedridden for years at a time. Yet through all this, she and her husband shared a family life filled with love and tenderness.

About the Author(s)

Martin Naparsteck has published two novels, a collection of short stories, and a book of writing advice. He writes fulltime and lives in Rochester, New York.
Michelle Cardulla is editor and publisher of Lake Affect magazine in Rochester, New York. She is a regular contributor to several magazines in upstate New York, and is an art teacher. She lives in Rochester.

Bibliographic Details

Martin Naparsteck with Michelle Cardulla
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7261-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1309-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction: Olivia Langdon, Livy and Mrs. Clemens 7
One. Ice 13
Two. Death, Death, Death 35
Three. Disease 58
Four. The Picturesque Life 78
Five. Money 101
Six. The Wages of Honor 125
Seven. Hell and Satan 147
Appendix A. Important Dates in the Life of Olivia Langdon Clemens 169
Appendix B. “A Hint to a Young Person, for His Better
Improvement by Reading or Conversation” by John Byrom 174
Appendix C. “God Is Love” by John Greenleaf Whittier 175
Appendix D. Selected Love Letters of Livy 177
Chapter Notes 183
Bibliography 196
Index 203