Scott Bradfield

Is Mark Twain’s old age best forgotten?

Gary Scharnhorst’s three-volume biography ends with the irrepressible author descending into anger, melancholy and an embarrassing obsession with prepubescent girls

Clemens with the 11-year-old Dorothy Quick, whom he met in 1907 aboard the SS Minnetonka. Shortly before her death in 1962, Quick published her memoir Enchantment: A Little Girl’s Friendship with Mark Twain. [Getty Images]

Already a subscriber? Log in

Election special offer

The stage is set. Grab a front-row seat with The Spectator. Subscribe and get 3 months for just £3 – plus a free election mug.

  • Weekly delivery of the magazine
  • Unlimited access to our website and app
  • Spectator newsletters and podcasts
  • Our online archive, going back to 1828


Want to join the debate?

Only subscribers can comment. Sign up and – in the run-up to the election – you’ll get the next three months for just £3.

Already a subscriber? Log in