This is the first book-length biography of Olivia Langdon Clemens, Mark Twain’s wife. Livy was an intelligent, well-educated woman of Victorian values and sensibilities who lived a charmed and tragic life.
Raised in the wealthiest family in Elmira, New York, she married the man destined to become the best known American in the world. She befriended the literary elite of America and Europe, traveled the globe, dined with royalty.
Yet her life was filled with tragedy. Her son was born prematurely and died at 19 months. Her oldest daughter died of spinal meningitis at 24. Her youngest daughter was an epileptic. Her husband’s bad investments drove the family into bankruptcy. Her frail health kept her bedridden for years at a time. Yet through all this, she and her husband shared a family life filled with love and tenderness.