Mark Twain's Autobiography, Finally

Upon his death, Mark Twain left behind 5000 pages of an autobiography that included a hand-written note stating that the memoir was not to be published until 100 years after his death.

Now that we've reached that deadline, the publishing is beginning, and his estate has split the pages into a trilogy, the first volume of which is coming soon.

Scholars are divided as to why Twain wanted the first-hand account of his life kept under wraps for so long. Some believe it was because he wanted to talk freely about issues such as religion and politics. Others argue that the time lag prevented him from having to worry about offending friends.

Link - via gothamist

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by \'\' nmiller.


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@Nick Gisburne

I'd like to point out that just because the actual manuscripts are owned does not mean their copyright is. Even unpublished works pass into the public domain: in this case, 70 years after the author's death. So while any presentation or edits or whatnot may be copyrightable, the actual content itself still is not.
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JJ the raw text might be in the public domain, but you're unlikely to see it because it was never published and as such is the private property of its current owners. If they don't want to show you that version, they don't have to, just as any privately owned painting doesn't have to be on public display. As for the to-be-published versions, they will have been subjected to editing, so will be regarded as new works, and as such subject to copyright. Of course the owners could put the whole 5000 pages online in their raw form, but then they won't make any money and anyone could republish their own versions. I'd say the likelihood of that happening is slim. It's probably more complex than that, and the rules will vary in different countries, but that's my understanding of it.
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