Eve's Diary

Eve's Diary

Eve's Diary
First edition book cover
Author Mark Twain
Illustrator Lester Ralph
Country United States
Language English
Genre Humor
Publisher Harper & Brothers
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 109 pp
Preceded by A Dog's Tale
Followed by King Leopold's Soliloquy

Eve's Diary is a comic short story by Mark Twain. It was first published in the 1905 Christmas issue of the magazine Harper's Bazaar, and in book format in June 1906 by Harper and Brothers[1] publishing house. It is written in the style of a diary kept by the first woman in the biblical creation story, Eve, and is claimed to be "translated from the original MS." The "plot" of this novel is the first-person account of Eve from her creation up to her burial by, her mate, Adam, including meeting and getting to know Adam, and exploring the world around her, Eden. The story then jumps 40 years into the future after the Fall and expulsion from Eden. It is one of a series of books Twain wrote concerning the story of Adam and Eve, including 'Extracts from Adam's Diary,' 'That Day In Eden,' 'Eve Speaks,' 'Adam's Soliloquy,' and the 'Autobiography of Eve.' Eve's Diary has a lighter tone than the others in the series, as Eve has a strong appreciation for beauty and love. The book may have been written as a posthumous love-letter to Mark Twain's wife Olivia Langdon Clemens, or Livy, who died in June 1904, just before the story was written. Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "Eve's Diary is finished — I've been waiting for her to speak, but she doesn't say anything more." The story ends with Adam's speaking at Eve's grave, "Wherever she was, there was Eden."


  • Illustrations 1
  • Gallery 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The book version of the story was published with 55 illustrations by Lester Ralph, on each left hand page. The illustrations depicted Eve and Adam in their natural settings. The depiction of an unclothed woman was considered pornographic when the book was first released in the United States, and created a controversy around the book. One library in Charlton, Massachusetts banned the book for the depictions of Eve in "summer costume."

When contacted Twain replied: Two weeks later, after testifying before Congress, he elaborated as reported in the Washington Herald, In a letter to a friend, Harriett E. Whitmore, he commented:



  1. ^ Facsimile of the original 1st edition.

External links

  • Full text of book, without illustrations
  • Full text of book, with all of Lester Ralph's illustrations (Project Gutenberg)
  • [1]Librivox-audiobook]
  • New York Times article on Massachusetts banning
  • Michael Waisman webpage on book, including one illustration and excerpt
  • Review of reprint of Excerpt of Adams Diary and Eve's Diary
  • Excerpt from Washington Herald article
  • Excerpt from letter to Harriett E. Whitmore