Mark Twain at the Gallows

Writings About Mark Twain & His Works

Mark Twain at the Gallows


This book is a literary exploration of Mark Twain’s writings on crime in the American West and its intersection with morality, gender and justice. Writing from his office at the Enterprise newspaper in the Nevada Territory, Twain employed a distinct style of crime writing–one that sensationalized facts and included Twain’s personal philosophies and observations.

Covering Twain’s journalism, fictional works and his own personal letters, this book contextualizes the writer’s coverage of crime through his anxieties about westward expansion and the promise of a utopian West. Twain’s observations on the West often reflected common perceptions of the day, positioning him as a “voice of the people” on issues like crime, punishment and gender.



The Mark Twain House & Museum is a non-profit institution. All purchases and proceeds go directly into the upkeep and restoration of the historic home.