After laughing their way through his classic and beloved depictions of nineteenth-century American life, few readers would suspect that Mark Twain's last years were anything but happy and joyful. They would be wrong. As Hamlin Hill reveals in "Mark Twain: God's Fool", contrary to the myth perpetrated by his literary executors, Twain ended his life as a frustrated writer plagued by paranoia. He suffered personal tragedies, got involved in questionable business ventures, and was a demanding and controlling father and husband. As Hill's book demonstrates, the difficult circumstances of Twain's personal life make his humorous output all the more surprising and admirable.
Hamlin Hill (1931-2002) taught at the University of New Mexico, the University of Chicago, and Texas A&M University, where he led the Department of English until 1989. He is the author or editor of many volumes, several of which center on Mark Twain, Twain's work, and American humor.