A bedtime fairytale that Mark Twain told his daughters will be published this year to mark the 150th anniversary of the author’s first book. The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine will hit the stalls on September 26. The first lot of the 152-page illustrated book will have 2,50,000 copies, reported USA Today.
The story, which Twain narrated in 1879 and was found by a scholar in 2011 in the form of 16 pages of handwritten notes, has been completed with illustrations by Philip and Erin Stead, reported The Guardian. The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine is a story about a young boy who befriends animals by eating “the flower sprouted by a magical seed”. He then recruits the animals to save a kidnapped prince. Publisher Doubleday told The Guardian that the story is one of charity, kindness and bravery.
Twain is considered to be the greatest American novelist and humourist of his times. Born in 1835 as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Twain’s most popular works include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. “We both just tried to approach the text respectfully and with as much reverence as possible. No one’s qualified to write for Mark Twain,” Erin Stead told The New York Times. Frances Gilbert, who edited the book, dubbed it as an incredible literary event. “When I first got the chance to read this unpublished story, I couldn’t believe what I was holding,” he told The Guardian.