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Reviews and Awards

Praise for Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 3 (2015)

“Covering just the last couple of years in Twain's long life, this is the concluding volume of the masterful University of California edition of his autobiography: unexpurgated, cross-referenced, and richly annotated. . . . Of considerable interest to all readers of Twain but especially to working writers following Twain's habit of tracking his astonishing writing income.”
Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Mark Twain Project Online

“Mark Twain Project Online is an extraordinary resource for scholars, teachers, and ordinary readers. Materials that previously could be examined only by scholars fortunate enough to be able to visit the Mark Twain Project in The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley will now be available worldwide to anyone with an interest in Mark Twain—and that's a cause for celebration.”
Shelley Fisher Fishkin, author of Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture

“The Mark Twain Project Online is an exciting initiative that will make a fundamental literary and biographical archive available to scholars and students. MTPO offers easy access through a sophisticated web interface and growing and comprehensive scope. This project has the potential to become a model for web accessibility to foundational scholarly resources.”
Richard Terdiman, author of Body and Story: The Ethics and Practice of Theoretical Conflict

General praise for the Mark Twain Project's print publications

“I can think of no recent book on Mark Twain that has not benefited variously and directly from the work of the Mark Twain Project.”
Thomas Wortham, Nineteenth-Century Literature

“The University of California Press has presented everything needed to understand Twain and his works. They have made him the most accessible of major American writers, the most thoroughly documented.”
Charles H. Gold, Chicago Sun-Times

“Anyone who studies the life and career of Sam Clemens will be grateful for the effort the Mark Twain Project demonstrates in this volume—and in all its work. … Altogether the editorial effort is truly astonishing.”
James E. Caron, Biography

“One of the great scholarly enterprises of the century. Since the 1970s the … members of the Mark Twain Project at the University of California have been turning out magnificent editions of the writer's letters, notebooks, travel narratives and fiction. If you want to enjoy, and to understand fully, the genius of Mark Twain, the California editions are the only texts to have.”
Michael Shelden, London Telegraph

“No other American writer has been served so competently or so successfully in the publication of sound texts as has Samuel L. Clemens by the Mark Twain Project of the University of California in Berkeley.”
M. T. Inge, Choice

Praise for Mark Twain's Letters (1988– )

“A scholarly work of the greatest distinction.”
The New Criterion

“The California edition of Mark Twain's works … is a model of the best scholarship American universities can produce today in a group enterprise. … the editors have filled in the necessary connecting facts so that the whole reads like a good biography. … The letters are as witty and readable as anything else he ever wrote. … It is hard to imagine any assistance to any reader that this edition does not anticipate.”
William S. Hunter, Houston Chronicle

“The Project editors are to be commended for the incredible depth, range, and detail of their work. Their scholarship is impeccable, their erudition extensive – one has the feeling that they could probably account for almost every hour of Twain's life.”

“Hard-core researchers who can't help still admiring substantial scholarship will sigh with pleasure but also boggle at the depth and fineness of detail, at the recovery of facts that had apparently disappeared down the stream of time. … Even the shrewdest literary snoop will wonder, ‘How did the editors find out that?’"
Louis J. Budd, Mississippi Quarterly

“A splendidly conceived and brilliantly achieved edition of Clemens's letters.”
Nineteenth-Century Literature

“The editing … is perfection itself. The notes and commentary … are as compelling as the letters themselves.”
William Baker, Antioch Review

“Few things, as Pudd'nhead observed, are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example, and this building collection of the letters is horribly, excruciatingly good. It sets standards of diligence that will cause future editors of writers' letters to weep.”
Jonathan Raban, Times Literary Supplement

“The letters of few other authors have been handled with such exhaustive and intelligent care.”

“So far as an educated eye can judge, there is simply nothing missing from this edition, and one turns to these letter volumes with a confidence in their editorial authority that is unfortunately rare.”
Thomas Wortham, Nineteenth-Century Literature

“Lengthy, encyclopedic, enlightening, and often wonderfully entertaining footnotes … between the texts of the letters and the voluminous editorial commentary, Mark Twain's Letters project promises to become the most comprehensively detailed reconstructed life of a genius ever seen.”
Robert Hurwitt, Berkeley Express

“The Mark Twain Project … has hit its full, admirably sustained, and now magnificent stride. It is satisfying to be able to report that this first volume of the letters … not only represents the project at even more than its previous best but also makes major contributions to the theory and practice of documentary editing.”
Michael Millgate, University of Toronto Quarterly

Winner of the Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters (for Letters, volume 6 [1874–75])

Praise for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1979)

The Yankee is a jewel. Nobody will ever be able to read, much less teach, it without this book.”
American Literature

Praise for Roughing It (1993)

“An instant classic of scholarship.”
Lawrence E. Berkove, American Literary Realism

“An intellectually powerful ‘Introduction’ … a major achievement. … If we are talking about a monument to highest purposes of scholarship mingled with a direct responsibility to a wider audience, this text passes the test. … truly national monuments of ideas are being created here. … These works are active in the way that passive stone will never be. It is an appropriate transition for a country that sees itself in a revolutionary new age of information and information science to make our new monuments monuments to ideas.”
David E. E. Sloane, Essays in Arts and Sciences

“Scholarly research and familiarity on the part of the editors with a wide range of material relating to Twain and his contemporaries make the notes and comments in this volume the equivalent of a short course in the history and literature of some of the essential facets of nineteenth-century American culture. … Not just Roughing It itself, not just Mark Twain's life, but the whole Western mining and newspaper experience gets preserved for posterity. Our understanding of hundreds of bits of trivia becomes a sense of history-through-anecdote, the preservation of which depends on the labors of the Project.”
Pascal Covici, Jr., Studies in American Humor

Winner of the 1993–94 Modern Language Association Prize for a Distinguished Scholarly Edition

Praise for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (2003)

“Few but Twain scholars will appreciate the meticulous editing that has gone into this volume, but those who care will be able to see more clearly than ever how carefully Twain revised the novel into its greatness. Highly recommended for all scholarly libraries.”
Library Journal

“Maybe nothing is ever the last word, especially on Twain, but this seems like it.”
Louis J. Budd, quoted in the Los Angeles Times

Praise for Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 (2010)

“To read this volume is to be introduced to Twain as if, thrillingly, for the first time.”
Library Journal

“What we have here is a crowning jewel of one of the truly exceptional editorial projects in American history. … The editors have worked hard to produce it the way Twain intended.”
Harold K. Bush, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“A magnificent contribution to American literature, with superb editing, and page after page of seemingly effortless wit and wisdom from a master showman.”
Michael Shelden, San Francisco Chronicle

Winner of the 2010 PROSE Award for Excellence in Humanities and the 2010 California Book Awards’ Gold Medal