Later Years After Twain turned fifty, his fortunes reversed themselves. His health began to fail, and in 1894, he was forced to declare bankruptcy due to his investment in a failed automatic typesetter, a publishing company that drained more of his money than it earned him. His failures with moneymaking ventures extended to his family, and he suffered through the illnesses and deaths of those whom he loved. His wife, Olivia, struggled with her health and soon became a semi-invalid; one of his daughters developed epilepsy; and his oldest daughter died of meningitis. Twain's comment that "the secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow" became painfully realized, and by the end of the nineteenth century, Twain's writings reflected his dark view of life. Overall, the 1890s were Twain's blackest decade. Twain and his family lived throughout Europe in
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