Your 2017 reading list can not complete without this Mark Twain book!

Earlier this year, Penguin Random House announced that they will be releasing a never-before-published Mark Twain’s children’s story “The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine”. Well, the book is ready for release on September 26th and is now open for pre-orders.

Let’s take a quick sneak peek into the book and what makes it so captivating.

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 11.54.19

Once upon a time, about 150 years ago, Samuel Longhorn Clemens sat in a Hotel room with his two young daughters, Susie and Clara, who demanded to be told a story. Thinking on his feet, Samuel, better known as Mark Twain, quickly made up a story about a boy who has magic seeds and can talk to animals. The boy goes on an quest to  save a Prince and recruits animals on his way to help him achieve his goal. Later, Mark Twain jotted down 16-page long note that lay unnoticed in Mark Twain Archives in University of California, Berkley till 2011.

In 2011, while rummaging through the archives at Mark Twain Papers and Project, John Bird stumbled upon notes titles “Oleomargarine”. Mr. Bird and other scholars believe this could be the last written remnant of Mark Twain’s writings.

First Paragraph of Mark Twain's story, in Twain's Handwriting
The first paragraph of the story in Mark Twain’s handwriting.

The text was then brought to the attention of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, which sold it to Doubleday Books.

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 11.55.10

At Doubleday Books, the children’s author and illustrator team of Erin and Philip Stead re-imagined the story into a richly illustrated 150-pages long expanded version.  that is set to be released on 26th September, 2017 and is now open for pre-orders.

In an interview with EW about his experience with the project, Phillip said: “Of course any person in their right mind would be terrified of this project. But having the support of the [Mark Twain House & Museum] house allayed some fears… and then I had a good long walk-and-talk with my dog about it, and she assured me I had her full support, and that I was the right man for the job—provided it did not cut into our twice-daily ambles through the neighborhood, mealtimes, or the hours set aside each day for lying on our backs with our bellies in the air.” The story has been framed as “told to me by my friend, Mr. Mark Twain.”

Mark Twain: The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine
Illustration by Erin and Philip Stead for The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine

Although bedtime stories were a ritual in the Twain household, this is the only story that Mark Twain later jotted down in his notes. It is next to impossible to say why he never finished the story but I for one am certainly glad that it is being brought back and published for millions of Mark Twain fans to read.




    1. Pallavi Modi

      Absolutely! The story seems extremely fascinating. Reminds me a little bit of The Little Prince in the sense that he too was on an adventure of his own. Have you read that one?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s