Pitzer College President Publishes New Book—Mark Twain’s Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years (Knopf)

Claremont, Calif. (March 16, 2010) — Mark Twain's Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years by Pitzer College President Laura Skandera Trombley was published today by Knopf.

Mark Twain's Other Woman uncovers the carefully hidden truth of Twain's last years—and the vital role played by Isabel Von Kleek Lyon, his personal secretary.

In Twain's final decade, Lyon was his constant companion. She handled his finances and schedule, nursed him through illnesses, ran his household and traveled with him.

Yet Twain forced her to marry a man she did not love, fired her, bought her a house and took it back, blackmailed her, publically denounced her—and wrote 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."

Obsessed, Twain wrote about Lyon for hours every day.

Through Lyon's hidden papers, journals and letters, Mark Twain's Other Woman uncovers the secrets Lyon held--and Twain's efforts to silence her--and details their close and ultimately destructive relationship.

Skandera Trombley's other books include Mark Twain in the Company of Women and Constructing Mark Twain: New Directions in Scholarship, and she has authored dozens of scholarly articles on Twain. She appeared in Ken Burns's Mark Twain documentary and, as a graduate student, discovered the largest known cache of Mark Twain letters.

Mark Twain's Other Woman: The Hidden Story of His Final Years is available at major booksellers on March 16.

For more information about Laura Skandera Trombley and to read an excerpt of the book, please visit www.LauraTrombley.org

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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