Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Fall 2001 Newsletter

Previously Unpublished Mark Twain Story from the Ransom Center is Published

Book jacket, A Murder, A Mystery, and a Marriage, 2001, W.W. Norton and Company.

Book jacket, A Murder, A Mystery, and a Marriage,
2001, W.W. Norton and Company.

"A Murder, a Mystery and a Marriage," a previously unpublished 1876 work by Mark Twain (1835-1910), appeared in print for the first time in the July/August 2001 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. In September, W.W. Norton & Company published the story in a hard cover gift edition, complete with illustrations by noted artist Peter de Séve. The Ransom Center provided the original 8,000 word manuscript of "A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage" to the Mark Twain Project for use as the basis for publishing the short story in magazine and book format. Future venues include an e-book and an audio book read by Garrison Keillor. In addition, the Ransom Center was a partnering organization with the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library for their recent Mark Twain Writing Competition program.

Twain's manuscript is part of the Ransom Center's Ellery Queen Collection of Mystery and Detective Fiction that includes works by Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle, among others. The manuscript came to the Ransom Center in 1958 and is eighty-nine half sheets of paper, bound in brown morocco leather, and signed Mark Twain. The story is part of a substantial collection of Twain material housed at the Ransom Center, including typescripts, proofs, correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, and books from Twain's personal library.

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Twain's manuscript "A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage" will be on display in the Center's exhibition From Gutenberg to Gone With The Wind: Treasures from the Ransom Center at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin through May 2002.

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