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".
Mar 31, 2021 · 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 ...
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Mark Twain is the pen name of Samuel Clemens. Although the exact origins of the name are unknown, it is worth noting that Clemens operated riverboats, and mark twain is a nautical term for water found to be two fathoms (12 feet [3.7 metres]) deep: mark (measure) twain (two).
Harvest Hootenanny Festival brings autumn highlights back to Mark Twain Cave Complex
A festive autumn tradition returns as the Harvest Hootenanny combines live music, food, vendors, demonstrations, contests and activities for all ages on Friday, Sept. 17 and Saturday, Sept.
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- “If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.” ― Mark Twain.
- “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ― Mark Twain.
- “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).” ― Mark Twain.
- “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” ― Mark Twain.
95 Copy quote. Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile. Mark Twain. Love, Inspirational, Life. 1470 Copy quote. Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
- Early life
- Later life
- Early career
Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born two months prematurely on November 30, 1835, in tiny Florida, Missouri, and remained sickly and frail until he was 7 years old. Clemens was the sixth of seven children, only three of whom survived to adulthood. In 1839, Clemens father, John Marshall, a self-educated lawyer who ran a general store, moved his family to the town of Hannibal, Missouri, in search of better business opportunities. (Decades later, his son would set his popular novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in a fictionalized version of Hannibal.) John Marshall Clemens became a justice of the peace in Hannibal but struggled financially. When Samuel Clemens was 11, his 49-year-old father died of pneumonia.
In 1857, Clemens became an apprentice steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River. The following year, while employed on a boat called the Pennsylvania, he got his younger brother, Henry, a job aboard the vessel. Samuel Clemens worked on the Pennsylvania until early June. Then, on June 13, disaster struck when the Pennsylvania, traveling near Memphis, experienced a deadly boiler explosion; among those who perished as a result was 19-year-old Henry. Samuel Clemens was devastated by the incident but got his pilots license in 1859. He worked on steamboats until the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, when commercial traffic along the Mississippi was halted. Clemens pen name, Mark Twain, comes from a term signifying two fathoms (12 feet), a safe depth of water for steamboats.
As it happened, later in life Clemens became friends with Ulysses Grant, and in 1885 published the former presidents memoir, which became a best-seller and rescued Grants widow from poverty after her husband lost most of their money to bad investments.
In May 1864, Twain challenged a rival Nevada newspaperman with whom he was feuding to a duel but fled before an actual fight took place, supposedly to avoid being arrested for violating the territorys anti-dueling law. Twain headed to San Francisco, where he got a job as a reporter but soon grew disenchanted with the work and eventually was fired. Later that year, Twain posted bail for a friend whod been arrested in a barroom brawl. When the friend skipped town, Twain, who didnt have the funds to cover the bond, decided he too should get out of San Francisco for a while and traveled to the mining cabin of friends at Jackass Hill in Tuolumne County, California (the Jackass Hill area was booming during the 1849 gold rush, but when Twain visited just a small number of miners remained). While at a bar in the nearby town of Angels Camp in Calaveras County, California, Twain heard a man tell a tale about a jumping frog contest. When Twain returned to San Francisco in February 1865, he received a letter from a writer friend in New York asking him to contribute a story to a book he was putting together. Twain decided to send a story based on the jumping frog tale hed heard; however, by the time he got around to finalizing it the book had already been published. As it happened, though, the books publisher sent Twains piece, Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog, to the Saturday Press in New York, which ran it on November 18, 1865. The humorous story turned out to be a big hit with readers and was reprinted across the country, eventually retitled The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
Set in the antebellum South, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the story of the title character, a young misfit who floats down the Mississippi River on a raft with Jim, a runaway slave. Huck Finn made his literary debut in Twains 1876 novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, appearing as Sawyers sidekick. The model for Huck Finn was Tom Blankenship, a boy four years older than Twain who he knew growing up in Hannibal. Blankenships family was poor and his father, a laborer, had a reputation as a town drunk. As Twain noted in his autobiography: In Huckleberry Finn I have drawn Tom Blankenship exactly as he was. He was ignorant, unwashed, insufficiently fed; but he had as good a heart as ever any boy had. Its unknown what happened to Blankenship later in life. Twain indicated hed heard a rumor Blankenship became a justice of the peace in Montana, but other reports suggest he was jailed for theft or died of cholera.
What is certain is that from the time of its publication, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been controversial. Just a month after its American release in 1885, it was banned by the public library in Concord, Massachusetts, for its supposedly coarse language and low moral tone. In the mid-20th century, critics began condemning the book as racist and in the ensuing decades it was removed from some school reading lists. Many scholars, however, contend the book is a criticism of racism.
In 1870, Clemens married Olivia Langdon, who was raised in an abolitionist family in Elmira, New York. The couple was introduced by Olivias younger brother, who had met Clemens during a voyage to Europe and the Holy Land aboard the steamship Quaker City in 1867. (Clemens wrote about this excursion in his best-selling 1869 travel book, The Innocents Abroad.) The Clemenses had four children, including a son who died as a toddler and two daughters who passed away in their 20s. Olivia Clemens died in 1904 at age 58, while on April 21, 1910, her renowned husband, whose health had been in decline for a number of months, died at age 74 at his home in Redding, Connecticut. Their surviving child, Clara, died in 1962 at age 88. Clara Clemens had one child, Nina Gabrilowitsch, who passed away in 1966. Gabrilowitsch was childless, so there are no direct descendants of Samuel Clemens alive today.
- Elizabeth Nix