Laura Skandera Trombley, the preeminent Twain scholar at work
today, reveals the never-before-read letters and daily journals of
Isabel Lyon, Mark Twain's last personal secretary.
For six years, Isabel Lyon was responsible for running the aging
Man in White's chaotic household, nursing him through several
illnesses and serving as his adoring audience. But after a dramatic
breakup of their relationship, Twain ranted in personal letters
that she was "a liar, a forger, a thief, a hypocrite, a drunkard, a
sneak, a humbug, a traitor, a conspirator, a filthy-minded and
salacious slut pining for seduction." For decades, biographers
omitted Isabel from the official Twain history at his decree. But
now, the truth of the split is exposed at last in a story that
sheds light on a lionized author's final decade.
"From the Trade Paperback edition."
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