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Mark Twain Mark Twain is pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), an American writer and humorist, whose best works are characterized by broad, often irreverent humor or biting social satire. Twain's writing is also known for realism of place and language, memorable characters, and hatred of hypocrisy and oppression.
Mark Twain is a famous American writer and a journalist. His real name was Samuel Clemens. He was born in 1835 in Florida. Mark Twain started his literary career rather late. He worked as a journalist in newspapers in Nevada and California during the years of the Civil War. His father died when the boy was only 12 years old. Twain had to start working with his brother. In 1857 he became a sailor on the Mississippi.
After the death of his father in 1847, Clemens was apprenticed to two Hannibal printers, and in 1851 he began setting type for and contributing sketches to his brother Orion's Hannibal Journal. Subsequently he worked as a printer in Keokuk, Iowa; New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and other cities. Later Clemens was a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River until the American Civil War (1861-1865) brought an end to travel on the river. In 1861 Clemens served briefly as a volunteer soldier in the Confederate cavalry. Later that year he accompanied his brother to the newly created Nevada Territory, where he tried his hand at silver mining. In 1862 he became a reporter on the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada, and in 1863 he began signing his articles with the pseudonym Mark Twain, a Mississippi River phrase meaning two fathoms deep. After moving to San Francisco, California, in 1864, Twain met American writers Artemus Ward and Bret Harte, who encouraged him in his work. In 1865 Twain reworked a tale .
In 1867 Twain lectured in New York City, and in the same year he visited Europe and Palestine. He wrote of these travels in The Innocents Abroad (1869), a book exaggerating those aspects of European culture that impress American tourists. In 1870 he married Olivia Langdon. After living briefly in Buffalo, New York, the couple moved to Hartford, Connecticut. Much of Twain's his early adventures as a miner and journalist; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) celebrates boyhood in a town on the Mississippi River; A Tramp Abroad (1880) describes a walking trip through the Black Forest of Germany and the Swiss Alps; The Prince and the Pauper (1882), a children's book, focuses on switched identities in Tudor England; Life on the Mississippi (1883) combines an autobiographical account of his experiences as a river pilot with a visit to the Mississippi nearly two decades after he left it; A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) satirizes oppression in feudal England (see Feudalism). The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), the sequel to Tom Sawyer, is considered Twain's masterpiece. The book is the story of the title character, known as Huck, a boy who flees his father by rafting down the Mississippi River with a runaway slave, Jim. The pair's adventures show Huck (and the reader) the cruelty of which men and women are capable. Another theme of the novel is the conflict between Huck's feelings of friendship with Jim, who is one of the few people he can trust, and his knowledge that he is breaking the laws of the time by helping Jim escape. Huckleberry Finn, which is almost entirely narrated from Huck's point of view, is noted for its authentic language and for its deep commitment to freedom. Huck's adventures also provide the reader with a panorama of American life along the Mississippi before the Civil War. Twain's skill in capturing the rhythms of that life help make the book one of the masterpieces of American literature. Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©
Twain's work during the 1890s and the 1900s is marked by growing pessimism and bitterness as the result of his business reverses and, later, the deaths of his wife and two daughters. Twain‘s later writings include short stories, the best known of which are “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg” (1899) and “The War Prayer” (1905); philosophical, social, and political essays; the manuscript of “The Mysterious Stranger,” an uncompleted piece that was published posthumously in 1916; and autobiographical dictations. In 1884 Twain formed the firm Charles L. Webster and Company to publish his and other writers' works, notably Personal Memoirs (two volumes, 1885-1886) by American general and president Ulysses S. Grant. A disastrous investment in an automatic typesetting machine led to the firm's bankruptcy in 1894. A successful worldwide lecture tour and the book based on those travels, Following the Equator (1897), paid off Twain's debts.
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