Mark Twain’s Literary Resources
lets readers cozy up to Mark Twain and peep over his shoulder as he reads: a rare and rewarding vantage point.
—Kevin J. Hayes, author of Mark Twain: A Brief Critical Biography and George Washington: A Life in Books
Alan Gribben is a scholar's scholar, and Mark Twain's Literary Resources
is his masterwork. It will retain its fertile usefulness so long as Twain studies exist. Volume One and Two, both now available, aren't just a bounteous treasure of information and an important corrective to the most common misperception of Twain. They are also an engaging record of Gribben's tireless, lifelong adventure in literary sleuthing.
—Frederick Crews, Professor of English Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
Alan Gribben’s Mark Twain’s Literary Resources
brings together in two volumes a series of interconnected essays, many revisions of his earlier published works, and a significant update of annotated titles in Twain’s personal library. This new edition replaces the invaluable Mark Twain’s Library: A Reconstruction
— long out of print and nearly impossible to obtain. The introductory essays in the first volume render in toto a penetrating critique of the reader behind the writer who, as Ernest Hemingway once said, reinvented American literature.
—Jerome Loving, author of Mark Twain: The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens
Mark Twain’s Literary Resources
is the definitive guide to Mark Twain’s intellectual universe. Alan Gribben discusses everything from the elaborately bound parlor-table gift books known by titles such as Friendship’s Offering
to the literary, historical, and religious works that directly influenced America’s greatest writer. This book, the most useful reference book on Twain ever written, is a classic. And despite what Twain said about classics, this one will be read again and again.
—Joe B. Fulton, professor of English at Baylor University, author of five books on Mark Twain, including Mark Twain Under Fire: Reception and Reputation, Criticism and Controversy, 1851-2015
One of the foundational sources of Mark Twain studies for nearly forty years, Alan Gribben’s Mark Twain’s Library: A Reconstruction
has long been a scholarly treasure. Gribben's revised and much expanded compendium, Mark Twain’s Literary Resources Vol I
and Vol II
, will prove to be the standard reference guide on the topic for the next many decades. These volumes belong in all research libraries and on the shelves of all nineteenth-century Americanists.
—Gary Scharnhorst, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English, University of New Mexico
From the day I discovered Alan Gribben’s Mark Twain’s Library: A Reconstruction
, it became one of only two reference works that I have kept within arm’s reach of my desk. Gribben’s research served as an inspiration and guidepost enabling me to make my own discoveries. His new updated and expanded Mark Twain’s Literary Resources
has been one of my most eagerly anticipated publications throughout the years. With hundreds of new entries, it is the most extensive mapping of Mark Twain’s intellectual development that will ever be undertaken. It is an essential reference work for any Mark Twain researcher or biographer.
—Barbara Schmidt, independent researcher, a Mark Twain Journal Legacy Scholar, and publisher of twainquotes.com
Alan Gribben’s critical masterpiece, Mark Twain’s Literary Resources Vol I
and Vol II
, asserts itself as one of a handful of truly invaluable resources in Mark Twain studies. A heroic compendium of analytical essays, annotated catalogs, critical bibliographies, and index guides, this work is the definitive study of the literary, philosophical, historical, and scientific texts that shaped Mark Twain’s mind and art.
—Joseph Csicsila, professor, Eastern Michigan University, coauthor of Heretical Fictions: Religion in the Literature of Mark Twain
Dr. Alan Gribben’s Mark Twain’s Literary Resources
offers a fascinating peek into the mind of an American literary genius. The book’s mind-boggling wealth of information could only have been gathered using extraordinary research skills and dogged determination. The work is an invaluable tool for Mark Twain scholars and sets a new standard for generations of scholars to come.
—Laura Skandera Trombley, president, University of Bridgeport
Mark Twain knew that you can’t write if you don’t read, and his reading was as wide and deep as his beloved Mississippi River, flowing through his life and writings from beginning to end. It is in large measure thanks to Alan Gribben’s Mark Twain’s Literary Resources
that we understand how Twain’s extensive reading nourished his authorial genius. Gribben’s achievement is no mere library catalog, but rather a voyage of discovery that expertly navigates the complex channels of Twain’s literary sources. They are all charted here, awaiting further exploration, beckoning both the avid reader and serious scholar, and often as entertaining as Twain’s own published writings. Here is a masterpiece of research and presentation that will serve as a model for all future enquiries into the wellsprings of the creative process.
—Kevin Mac Donnell, Mark Twain scholar, foremost Mark Twain collector
Alan Gribben has devoted decades to cataloging and studying this legendary author's lifetime of reading. His Mark Twain's Literary Resources
is the magnificent result. It complements Twain’s autobiography and biographies of Twain, and will enhance any reference library.
—Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Woman Warrior and other novels
This labor of love from Gribben (Harry Huntt Ransom), an Auburn University English professor, meticulously chronicles Mark Twain’s library and literary influences. Gribben debunks Twain’s self-created image of reluctant and infrequent reader. It partly originated, Gribbens opines, in Twain’s own insecurity about his lack of formal education. On the contrary, Gribben’s detective work illustrates, Twain read widely and voraciously, from the classics to contemporary authors. This book, in two volumes, comprises a series of essays, many previously published, on what is known about Twain’s (no longer intact) library. For example, Gribbens identifies the specific version of Robin Hood—an 1841 retelling—quoted in Tom Sawyer
. Some essays will appeal to the general reader, such as one about Twain’s deliciously wicked 'Library of Literary Hogwash,' which included Love Among the Mistletoe, which Twain called 'hogwash, but not atrocious enough to be first-rate,' and a biography of Edgar Allan Poe whose author Twain pronounced 'the most remarkable animal that ever cavorted around a poet’s grave.' Twain scholars and specialists in related fields, such as childhood literature, will profit most from this scrupulously researched, highly specialized volume.
Mark Twain’s Literary Resources
is a model of disciplined and lively literary scholarship. While much of author Alan Gribben’s work is the bedrock business of fact-collecting, the delights come from his many ways of exploring for his readers what Twain’s collected reading means in understanding the classic American author as a man, a creative force, and as both an appreciator and detractor of the writings of others. An astonishing and captivating achievement.
—The Washington Independent Review of Books