Thursday, April 8, 2010

by Michael Sheldon

He caused quite a sensation at the Library of Congress on a cold day in December of 1906. Copyright legislation was being discussed at a meeting with lawyers, authors, and publishers.
The famous guest removed his overcoat revealing a white suit that shocked everyone in the room and was written about in all the newspapers. Wearing this particular color was intentional.
Mark Twain was used to being the center of attention, so he decided, at the age of seventy-one, that he was going to wear white until the end of his life. To him, it signified eternal youth and he didn't care what people said or thought.
The last three and a half years of his life, Twain lived large. He picked fights, wrote, visited Bermuda, played billiards, had a mansion built in the style of an Italian villa in Redding, Connecticut, got in trouble, stayed out late partying, and was almost swindled out of everything that he owned. His acerbic wit never faltered and wherever he appeared, there was always a crowd.
Mark Twain: Man in White is a superb biography. Extremely well-researched and written, effortlessly, Michael Sheldon has produced a masterful tale.
Between the incredible photographs and Twain's irreverent anecdotes at the beginning of each chapter, this book is an absolute joy to read. I loved it.
Very highly recommended.