Eve's Diary Paperback – 21 Aug 2008
|New from||Used from|
|Paperback, 21 Aug 2008||
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
No customer reviews
|5 star (0%)|
|4 star (0%)|
|3 star (0%)|
|2 star (0%)|
|1 star (0%)|
Review this product
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Eve's Diary is an entertaining, truly delightful piece written in the style of a diary kept by the first woman, Eve. This Kindle version has all of the illustrations that were done by Lester Ralph. Originally published in the 1905 Christmas issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine, it was popular enough to be subsequently published in book format in June 1906 by the Harper & Brothers publishing house. You'll see the red cover of that first edition posted by this reviewer in the images here.
Mark Twain was 70 at the time of the initial publication of this story, and his works in his later years were inclined to be somewhat critical and even vitriolic. But this little story was warm, heartfelt, and emotional. He had suffered the loss of his much-loved wife Livy in 1904, and it's clear that he had reflected on his married existence in Eve's Diary as his own private Eden with Livy. Through his words we see the `first woman' to be more open, candid and seemingly smarter than her companion, and his life was all the better for her being there.
Mark Twain wrote the story in the style of a diary kept by Eve, the first woman in the Judeo-Christian creation. It's claimed by the author to have been "translated from the original MS." The storyline of Twain's novel is the first-person account of Eve from her creation up to her burial by her mate, Adam, including meeting and getting to know him, and exploring the world around her, the Garden of Eden. The following is posted here not as a spoiler but as a teaser, and is the first entry of Eve's diary:
"SATURDAY. -- I am almost a whole day old, now. I arrived yesterday. That is as it seems to me. And it must be so, for if there was a day-before-yesterday I was not there when it happened, or I should remember it. It could be, of course, that it did happen, and that I was not noticing. Very well; I will be very watchful now, and if any day-before-yesterdays happen I will make a note of it. It will be best to start right and not let the record get confused, for some instinct tells me that these details are going to be important to the historian some day. For I feel like an experiment, I feel exactly like an experiment; it would be impossible for a person to feel more like an experiment than I do, and so I am coming to feel convinced that that is what I AM--an experiment; just an experiment, and nothing more."
In this Kindle edition, that journal entry is placed it's placed between two of Lester Ralph's beautifully rendered black and white line drawings. The story goes on and then jumps forty years into the future after the fall and expulsion from Eden.
This one of a string of books that Twain wrote concerning the tale of Adam and Eve, including 'Extracts from Adam's Diary,' 'That Day In Eden,' 'Eve Speaks,' 'Adam's Soliloquy,' and the 'Autobiography of Eve.' `Eve's Diary' was a short companion piece to his earlier comic story `Extracts from Adam's Diary,' a light comical burlesque on the Book of Genesis.
But there's more to the story than this.
The original book version of the story was published with 55 illustrations by Lester Ralph, and they depicted Eve and Adam in their natural settings... in other words, in their birthday suits. Some considered the depiction of an unclothed woman obscene when the book was first released in the United States, and that resulted in a controversy around the book.
Then The New York Times posted an article dated November 24, 1906, noting that `'Eve's Diary' had been among 100 books bought for the Charlton Public Library in Massachusetts, and had been barred by Frank O. Wakefield, one of the Trustees. The other Trustees concurred with him. The librarian, Mrs. Hattie L. Carpenter, had looked through it, and had brought this book to his attention. As the Times reported:
"After looking long and earnestly at on picture depicting Eve pensively reclining on a rock, Mr. Wakefield decided to act."
When contacted about this event, Mark Twain responded: "The action of the Charlton library was not of the slightest interest to me."
But the banned book story doesn't end there.
On September 21, 2011, the New York Times ran an article stating that after 105 years `Eve's Diary' was back on the shelf. Richard Whitehead, a new library trustee at that same library happened to stumble on the old forgotten controversy about the book. As the article reported:
"More than a century later, Mr. Whitehead and his fellow trustees voted unanimously (with one of the six absent) on Tuesday to lift the ban and bring `Eve's Diary' back to their brick library on Main Street. Two copies of the book -- with Mr. Ralph's illustrations, which now seem quite chaste -- were put into circulation on Wednesday, as was an audio version for those who prefer to conjure their own images."
Even better, the library made the book the focus of their exhibit for national Banned Book Week, which started that weekend.
And now you can enjoy your own copy of Mark Twain's banned book right here. Though there's no table of contents, this is a nicely formatted Kindle edition, and the publishers should be commended for keeping the original version intact... just as it was when the late library trustee Frank Wakefield opened the red cover of Eve's Diary over a century ago, and after looking "long and earnestly" at the picture that depicted "Eve pensively reclining on a rock," and he decided to act, obviously in the public welfare.
Something tells me that the ghost of Mark Twain had a good laugh over that.
I do recommend reading Adam's Diary first, otherwise the end of Eve's Diary has little meaning. I actually teared up on reading it.