by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910)
with 55 Illustrations by Lester Ralph (1876 – 1927)
First published 1906
The text of this book, published before 1923, is in the public domain world-wide because the author died more than 100 years ago. The illustrations are in the public domain in countries where copyright is Life+80 or less, and in the USA.
Mark Twain is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel." Among dozens of titles, some of his works include The Innocents Abroad, A Tramp Abroad, Roughing It, Life on the Mississippi, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and many more.
This comic short story was first published in the 1905 Christmas issue of the magazine Harper's Bazaar, and in book format in June 1906. It is one of a series of books Twain wrote concerning the story of Adam and Eve, including Extracts from Adam's Diary, That Day In Eden, Eve Speaks, Adam's Soliloquy, and the Autobiography of Eve. This book may have been written as a posthumous love-letter to his late wife Olivia.
The illustrations by Lester Ralph depict Eve and Adam in their natural settings. The depiction of an unclothed woman was considered pornographic in that era, and created a controversy around the book. One library in Charlton, Massachusetts banned the book for the depictions of Eve in “summer costume”; this incident amused Twain.
Purporting to be “translated from the original MS”, it is written in the style of a diary kept by Eve, the first woman in the Judeo-Christian creation story. Eve relates her first awareness of the world around her, her conclusion that she is an Experiment, her delighted explorations of the Garden of Eden, and the trials and tribulations of getting to know that other Experiment, Adam.
—information adapted from Wikipedia
A SHORT EXCERPT:
I followed the other Experiment around, yesterday afternoon, at a distance, to see what it might be for, if I could. But I was not able to make it out. I think it is a man. I had never seen a man, but it looked like one, and I feel sure that that is what it is. I realize that I feel more curiosity about it than any of the other reptiles. If it is a reptile, and I suppose it is; for it has frowsy hair and blue eyes, and looks like a reptile. It has no hips; it tapers like a carrot; when it stands, it spreads itself apart like a derrick; so I think it is a reptile, though it may be architecture.
I was afraid of it at first, and started to run every time it turned around, for I thought it was going to chase me; but by-and-by I found it was only trying to get away, so after that I was not timid any more, but tracked it along, several hours, about twenty yards behind, which made it nervous and unhappy. At last it was a good deal worried, and climbed a tree. I waited a good while, then gave it up and went home.
Today the same thing over. I’ve got it up the tree again.
This is a short story, but the file is so large due to 55 full-page illustrations. (If you have a large-screen reader, view in two-page mode, so the text can display beside the pictures.) Formatted curly quotes, emdashes, italics. Embedded fonts for titling. No text-wrapping.
I hope this brings a smile or two, and maybe tugs at some heartstrings.
ETA: After doing Adam's Diary and Eve's Diary, I have googled unsuccessfully for the other Twain Adam & Eve books in public domain versions: That Day In Eden, Eve Speaks, Adam's Soliloquy, and the Autobiography of Eve . If anyone knows of any sources, it would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Edit: Uploaded new version with correct cover image, makes the file a tiny bit smaller. Previous downloads: 61.
Edit: Uploaded version 3, text corrections and minor format changes. Previous downloads 61 + 56.
This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work
To report a copyright violation you can contact us here