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Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the "greatest humorist the United States has produced," and William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature ".
Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, (born November 30, 1835, Florida, Missouri, U.S.—died April 21, 1910, Redding, Connecticut), American humorist, journalist, lecturer, and novelist who acquired international fame for his travel narratives, especially The Innocents Abroad (1869), Roughing It (1872), and Life on the Mississippi (1883), and for his adventure stories of boyhood, especially The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885).
Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, was the celebrated author of several novels, including two major classics of American literature: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of...
- November 30, 1835
- 4 min
- April 21, 1910
- Literary Maturity
- Old Age
- Reputation and Assessment
Samuel Clemens, the sixth child of John Marshall and Jane Moffit Clemens, was born two months prematurely and was in relatively poor health for the first 10 years of his life. His mother tried various allopathic and hydropathic remedies on him during those early years, and his recollections of those instances (along with other memories of his growing up) would eventually find their way into Tom Sawyer and other writings. Because he was sickly, Clemens was often coddled, particularly by his mo...
In 1850 the oldest Clemens boy, Orion, returned from St. Louis, Mo., and began to publish a weekly newspaper. A year later he bought the Hannibal Journal, and Sam and his younger brother Henry worked for him. Sam became more than competent as a typesetter, but he also occasionally contributed sketches and articles to his brother’s paper. Some of those early sketches, such as The Dandy Frightening the Squatter (1852), appeared in Eastern newspapers and periodicals. In 1852, acting as the subst...
The next few years were important for Clemens. After he had finished writing the jumping-frog story but before it was published, he declared in a letter to Orion that he had a “ ‘call’ to literature of a low order—i.e. humorous. It is nothing to be proud of,” he continued, “but it is my strongest suit.” However much he might deprecate his calling, it appears that he was committed to making a professional career for himself. He continued to write for newspapers, traveling to Hawaii for the Sac...
Late in 1894 The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and the Comedy of Those Extraordinary Twins was published. Set in the antebellum South, Pudd’nhead Wilson concerns the fates of transposed babies, one white and the other black, and is a fascinating, if ambiguous, exploration of the social and legal construction of race. It also reflects Twain’s thoughts on determinism, a subject that would increasingly occupy his thoughts for the remainder of his life. One of the maxims from that novel jocularly...
Shortly after Clemens’s death, Howells published My Mark Twain (1910), in which he pronounced Samuel Clemens “sole, incomparable, the Lincoln of our literature.” Twenty-five years later Ernest Hemingway wrote in The Green Hills of Africa (1935), “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” Both compliments are grandiose and a bit obscure. For Howells, Twain’s significance was apparently social—the humorist, Howells wrote, spoke to and for the com...
- 3 min
Mark Twain A Life Lived in a Rapidly Changing World: Samuel L. Clemens‚ 1835-1910 As Twain’s books provide insight into the past‚ the events of his personal life further demonstrate his role as an eyewitness to history.
On Nov. 30, 1835, the small town of Florida, Mo. witnessed the birth of its most famous son. Samuel Langhorne Clemens was welcomed into the world as the sixth child of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens. Little did John and Jane know, their son Samuel would one day be known as Mark Twain - America's most famous literary icon.
- “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” – Mark Twain.
- “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” – Mark Twain.
- “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain.
- “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain.
Mark Twain, Michael Barry Frank, Robert Pack Browning, Lin Salamo, Frederick Anderson, Mark Twain (1980). “Mark Twain's Notebooks & Journals, Volume III: (1883-1891)”, p.172, Univ of California Press
Mark Twain You Better Fool People There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things.
Feel-Good results for Mark Twain
Mark Twain tells the story of the writer’s extraordinary life – full of rollicking adventure, stupendous success and crushing defeat, hilarious comedy and almost unbearable tragedy. By the end, the...