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Dangerous intimacy : the untold story of Mark Twain's final years

Author: Karen Lystra
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, ©2004.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : State or province government publication   Computer File : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Dangerous Intimacy tells the story of how, shortly after his wife's death in 1904, Twain enjoyed the attentions of Isabel Lyon, his flirtatious - and calculating - secretary. Lyon desperately wanted to marry her boss, who was almost thirty years her senior. She manipulated the household into exiling Jean, Twain's youngest daughter and an epileptic, to a sanitarium. With the help of Twain's assistant, Ralph  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Biography
Biographies
Named Person: Mark Twain; Mark Twain; Mark Twain; Mark Twain; Mark Twain; Isabel Lyon; Mark Twain; Mark Twain; Mark Twain; Mark Twain; Isabel Lyon; Mark Twain; Mark Twain; Isabel Lyon; Mark Twain
Material Type: Biography, Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Computer File, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Karen Lystra
ISBN: 0520233239 9780520233232 9780520250000 0520250001
OCLC Number: 52948859
Description: xxi, 342 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. Mark Twain--Sam's women --
2. Heartbreak --
3. Rearranging the household --
4. Looking for love --
5. A pact with the devil --
6. Life in the sanitarium --
7. Someone to love him and pet him --
8. A viper to her bosom --
9. Innocence at home --
10. Stormfield --
11. An American Lear --
12. Illusions of love --
13. Unraveling --
14. The exile returns --
15. Confrontation --
16. A formidable adversary --
17. False exoneration --
18. The funniest joke in the world --
19. Melting marble with ice --
20. The end of my autobiography --
How little one may tell.
Other Titles: Untold story of Mark Twain's final years
Responsibility: Karen Lystra.
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Abstract:

Recovers Twain's final years as they really were - lived in the shadow of deception and prejudice, but also in the light of the author's unflagging energy and enthusiasm.  Read more...

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"A brilliant literary detective, Lystra is also particularly good at presenting the prejudicial myths." - Anthony Glavin, Irish Times "Explores a chapter in the life of America's greatest Read more...

 
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schema:reviewBody""Dangerous Intimacy tells the story of how, shortly after his wife's death in 1904, Twain enjoyed the attentions of Isabel Lyon, his flirtatious - and calculating - secretary. Lyon desperately wanted to marry her boss, who was almost thirty years her senior. She manipulated the household into exiling Jean, Twain's youngest daughter and an epileptic, to a sanitarium. With the help of Twain's assistant, Ralph Ashcroft, who fraudulently acquired power of attorney over the author's finances, Lyon nearly succeeded in assuming complete control over Twain's household and estate. Fortunately, Twain recognized the plot being woven around him in the nick of time. So rife with twists and turns as to defy belief, the story comes to life via the letters and diaries of the participants: Katy the housekeeper, Jean, Lyon, and others whose distinctive, perceptive, often amusing voices take us straight into the heart of the Clemens household." "Just as Twain extricated himself from the lies, prejudice, and self-delusion that almost turned him into an American Lear, so Karen Lystra liberates the author's last decade of life from a century of popular misunderstanding. In this gripping book we at last see how, late in life, this American icon discovered a deep kinship with his youngest child and experienced the interplay of love and pain that is one of the hallmarks of his work."--Jacket."
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