Nonfiction | December 01, 1992

The following is from Resa Willis’ biography, Mark and Livy: The Love Story of Mark Twain and the Woman Who Almost Tamed Him, published by Atheneum.  As one of America’s most celebrated writers, Mark Twain has enjoyed lasting popular and critical appreciation, but until now little has been known about his thirty seven year relationship with his wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens.  In Mark and Livy, Willis redresses this oversight, presenting fascinating insights to their courtship and marriage.

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The future of the Langdon family seemed as settled, opulent, and comfortable as the mansion they occupied on Main Street.  Charles would join his father’s business after his excursion to Europe.  Sue had married Theodore Crane in 1858.  Livy told her friend Alice that her main hope at twenty-two was not marriage, “But if I only grow in Grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour I am content.” Livy would be the unmarried sister to remain at home to care for her parents as they grew older.  Jervis Langdon sometimes joked he would probably die if Livy ever left home, so certain was he of her fate.

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