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Mark Twain November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, is a famous American writer. His works are very popular with children all over the world. The 30 th of November is the birthday of Mark Twain.
Sam (Samuel in short) was born in 1835 in the small town of Hannibal on the Mississippi river. He was a son of a lawyer and spent his childhood in his hometown. When Sam was 5, he was sent to school. He was a lively boy and he was the leader in all the boys’ games.
In 1847 his father died. The boy had to leave school and look for a job. For ten years he worked as a printer. All his life Samuel was very fond of reading. While he was a printer he spent much time in libraries. So he educated himself in public libraries in the evenings.
In 1857 he found a job on a boat and travelled up and down the Mississippi. On the boat he became a pilot. It was where he got his pen-name Mark Twain. It was taken from the term “mark twain,” meaning “two fathoms” (морская сажень), Clemens worked as a pilot for more than four years.
Later he used to speak about this time as the happiest period of his life and described it in his book “ Life on the Mississippi”.
Mark Twain also worked on gold mines for a year. There he began writing humourous stories and sent them to newspapers. Soon publishers liked his stories, and he was invited to work as a journalist for a newspaper.
Mark Twain did not get a good education, but he knew folk songs and tales of the Negroes who lived along the Mississippi river, where he grew up.
Mark Twain was fond of travelling. He travelled much making speeches in different towns. He always told funny stories. He was also a famous humorist. There are many humorous stories connected with his name. Here are some of them.
So the professions he tried gave Mark Twain knowledge of life and people and helped him to find his true profession– the profession of a writer. The profession of a writer did not bring much money to Mark Twain and he had to give lectures on literature and read his stories to the public. He visited many countries and for a long time lived in England.
Mark Twain was married. He had a son and three daughters. He loved them very much. Sam Clemens always had plenty of time to play with them. They always made their father tell funny stories.
Mark Twain's favourite game was billiards. He loved to talk, to make speeches at banquets or in theatres. He could talk on and on. One of his hobbies was fishing. He went fishing whenever he had a chance, even in the closed season, when fishing was not allowed anywhere in lakes and rivers.
Mark Twain died in 1910 after a brief illness (непродолжи-тельная болезнь). He was almost 75 years old. His travels and adventures came to an end. American literature suffered a severe loss.
The Mark Twain House- Library
The Mark Twain House-museum in Hartford
Mark Twain statue in Garden City, Kansas
Mark Twain Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River opened in 1999.
In 1876 the book “ The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” was published. As Mark Twain said later many of the events described in this book really took place and characters came from real life. Tom Sawyer was very often the portrait of the writer himself, aunt Polly was his mother, Tom’s brother Sid was like his own brother.
The” Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published in 1884. Among Mark Twain’s books is” The Prince and the Pauper” a tale, loved by children all over the world.
We want you to meet some of Mark Twain’s main characters. But first you should answer my questions: 1. What was Mark Twain's real name? A. Lawrence Smith B. Clem Samuels C. Harry Jefferson D. Samuel Langhorne Clemens 2. When and where was Mark Twain born? A. December 15, 1833 in Baltimore, Maryland B. March 7, 1847 in Princeton, New Jersey C. June 24, 1863 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania D. November 30, 1835 in Hannibal, Missouri 3. How old was Twain when he had to leave school following the death of his father? A. 10 B. 12 C. 14 D. 16
4. What was Twain's first job? A. Journalist B. Carpenter C. Baker D. Printer 5. Which of these novels was written first? A. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn B. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer C. Tom Sawyer Abroad D. A Murder, a Mystery 6. Who did Twain marry in 1870? A. Olivia Langdon B. Diana Dell C. Olive Oak D. Helen Hunter 7. When did Twain publish ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’? A. 1889 B. 1894 C. 1879 D. 1882
8. What was the name of Mark Twain’s daughter who died in 1896? A. Polly B. Cindy C. Susy D. Miranda 9. What is the name of Mark Twain’s character who has adventures on the Mississippi with a runaway (беглый) slave? A. Slick Willy B. Dirty Harry C. Slim Pickens D. Huck Finn 10. What year did Mark Twain die? A. 1882 B. 1897 C. 1910 D. 1906
Try to guess Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
Try to guess
She is neither very small nor very tall. Her hair is grey. She wears a dark dress. She takes care about her house and her family. Her hobby is cooking. She does not go to school. I think she loves Tom very much and Tom loves her. What is her name? Aunt Polly
She has a father and a mother. She lives in big house. She goes to school every day. She can read and write. She is little. She has a round face. Her eyes are large and blue. Her hair is long. She wears a nice dress. She is a beautiful girl. What is her name? Becky
All is well, that ends well. You know a man by his friends.
Across (по горизонтали): 1.What was Mark Twain's father? 2.What was his best friend's name? 3.What was Mark Twain after his father's death? Down (по вертикали): 3.What was Mark Twain's on a boat? 4.What was his real surname? 5.What did he like to do most of all in his life? 6.What did he like to play very much? 4 5 1 2 6 3