MARK TWAIN IN VIRGINIA CITY by Paul Fatout

MARK TWAIN IN VIRGINIA CITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Quartered in Virginia City for twenty-one months after Roughing It West, Mark Twain made as good copy as he wrote. Here Paul Fatout gives in both his own words, in Twain's, and those of his contemporary, competing humorists, the flavor of the town in its boomtime. From his Enquirer berth, Sam Clemens reported on the Territorial Legislature at Carson City, took on the name of Twain (here attributed to his saloon tab), wrote his rebounding massacre hoax, met Artemus Ward and Ada Isaacs Menken. His high spirits, expended on the Sanitary Fund Auction, led to a showdown from which he ignominiously slipped away, ending a roistering, boisterous era for Twain, in Virginia City. The life of the Nevada Territory, voted into statehood in this period, is entertainingly conveyed; Twain emerges as a mercurial figure too quick to grasp.

Publisher: Indiana Univ. Press