Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known to the world as Mark Twain, author of such classics like Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, has proven able to become buzz-worthy in spite of his handicap of being dead for over a century. What’s more, an original fairy tale that he wrote for his daughters is going to be released to the public.
Titled “Oleomargarine,” the plot concerns a little boy who gains the power to talk to animals after ingesting a magic flower, and I’m just going to stop there before the comments write themselves. Actually, that’d be rather fitting, as according to reports, Twain did not finish the story in writing. The piece would have been lost to time completely, but scholar John Bird discovered notes alluding to the fairy tale within the Twain archives at the University of California.
Doubleday Books for Young Readers will publish a take on the tale, which has been fleshed out to a 152 page story (including illustrations) by writers Philip and Erin Stead. “We said yes before our brains could tell us it was a terrible idea and we would never be able to do it,” Phillip said.
“We both just tried to approach the text respectfully and with as much reverence as possible,” said Erin, who handled the illustrations. “No one’s qualified to write for Mark Twain.” In addition to the talking animals, the new publication supposedly adds things like giants, dragons, a kidnapped prince, and a wicked king in addition to an appearance from Twain himself. To reiterate, Twain is making cameos and getting published in spite of the whole “dead” thing. This would normally make me question my life choices, since I now see that I have all the time when I’m dead for my career to take off.
“The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine” is expected for a fall 2017 release.