Mark Twain autobiography creates a stir

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Mark Twain's autobiography, released on Monday 100 years after his death, has reopened old wounds, as Philip Sherwell reports.

But in the his final life work, a 429-page manuscript that has gone unpublished for a century, Twain claims it was he who was "hypnotised" by Isabel Van Kleek Lyon, his once trusted secretary, personal assistant and confidante.

The diatribe against Miss Lyon, whom he denounced as a "forger, thief, drunkard, traitor and salacious slut", will be made public for the first time in the autobiography that he ordered could not be published in full until 100 years after his death.

The three-tome work is one of the literary events of the decade and the first volume - already riding high in the US best-seller lists - will go on sale in Britain on Monday.

What will be revealed in its full ferocity is his loathing for Miss Lyon and her then-husband Ralph Ashcroft, a Briton who was the writer's erstwhile business advisor....

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