Olivia Langdon Clemens
Olivia Langdon Clemens is Twain's wife. Often referred to as "Livy," or ‘‘Mrs. Clemens,’’ Olivia is an invalid most of her life due to a partial paralysis from a fall on the ice at age sixteen. Twain first learns of Olivia from her brother Charley, one of Twain's shipmates on the Quaker City excursion.
Twain meets Olivia for the first time following the Quaker City excursion. He begins to court Olivia, and proposes to her on several occasions, but she initially denies his proposals. Twain then fakes an injury following an accident at Olivia's house, and she ends up nursing him back to health. The next time he proposes, she accepts. As a wedding gift, Olivia's father buys the young couple a house in Buffalo, New York. Olivia's father tells Olivia about the house, but she and her father hide the fact from Twain for a time, using it as the basis to play a joke on him.
Olivia is much more affectionate than Twain, who was brought up to be reserved. She acts as Twain's inspiration through their many years of poverty and debt, and edits most of his written works. Olivia helps preserve her husband's literary reputation in other ways as well. When his publishing company fails, Olivia is the one who first suggests to her husband that he pay back everything that is owed to the company's creditors, so that Twain's character is not stained. She also supports Twain's decision to destroy lower quality manuscripts before he is tempted to sell them and...
(The entire section is 372 words.)