Mark Twain

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Mark Twain

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Mark Twain’s works are some of the best I’ve ever read. I love the way he

brings you into the story, especially with the dialogue used, like in Tom

Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain is my favorite dead author.

Mark Twain was never “Mark Twain” at all. That was only his pen name. His

real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Samuel was born in Florida, Missouri in

1835. He accomplished worldwide fame during his lifetime for being a great

author, lecturer, satirist, and humorist. Since his death on April 21, 1910,

his great literary reputation has further increased. Many writers such as Ernest

Hemingway and William Faulkner have declared his work-especially Huckleberry

Finn- a major influence on 20th-century American fiction.

Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, a town on the Mississippi river.

After the death of his father in 1847, Twain joined his brother Orion’s

newspaper, the Hannibal Journal. During this time he became accustomed with

much of the frontier humor of the time.

From 1853 to 1857, Twain worked in many cities as a printer, and wrote

articles for his brother’s newspapers under various nicknames. After a visit

to New Orleans, he learned how to pilot a steamboat. That became his job until

the Civil War closed the Mississippi River, and

it set him up for “Old Times on the Mississippi” and “Life on the Mississippi.”

In 1861, Twain traveled to Carson City, Nevada, with his brother Orion.

After attempts for silver and gold mining had failed, he continued to write for

newspapers. It was in 1863 when Samuel Clemens adopted the name “Mark Twain”, a

riverman’s term for “two fathoms” deep.

In 1884 Twain went to San Francisco and reached national fame with his

story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” He then took a trip

to Hawaii which started him on a very successful career as a public speaker.

His trips to the Mediterranean and the Holy Land were recorded in letters to a

San Francisco newspaper, and later formed into The Innocents Abroad, which was

popular all over the world.

In 1870 Mark Twain married Olivia Langdon. He then abandoned journalism to

focus on serious literature. From 1870-1875, Twain produced many novels,

including the famous tale, Tom Sawyer.

A European vacation in 1878-1879, inspired novels like The Prince and the

Pauper and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Meanwhile, he

established his own firm, Charles L. Webster and Co., and after that, completed

his masterpiece, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in 1884.

In 1891, Twain was forced to move to Europe because of financial problems.

In 1894, because of the failure of his firm and other reasons, he had to declare

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