Mark Twain

Mark Twain is a very famous American author. Named Samuel Langhorne Clemens, he was born on November 30. 1835 He grew up in Missouri and his family relocated just four years later to Hannibal from Florida (the town). His father passed away when Twain was just eleven years old, a failed farmer for much of his life when he was alive.

Twain was an apprentice printer by sixteen and also worked penning sketches for the paper. He left Hannibal to be an itinerant printer at the age of 18. He worked in such places as St. Louis, New York, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati. Twain was on steamboats on the Mississippi from 1857 to 1861 and was soon a licensed pilot. However, river shipping was soon interrupted by the arrival of the Civil War.

Twain went to Nevada with brother Orion, who was working as a secretary there for the territory. Twain settled down in Carson City and tried his hand at prospecting. He also wrote humor pieces for the papers and began using the pen name Mark Twain at that time. He went to San Francisco and there became a regular correspondent for the newspaper and contributed to Golden Era, a lit magazine in the area of the time.

Around 1866, Twain went to Hawaii and also went to Europe the following year for the purpose of reporting about the first-ever organized tourist cruise. At the time he was also growing in notoriety as a lecturer and humorist. He was married to Livy Langdon and then settled down to spend some time in New York before moving to and living for about twenty years in Hartford, Connecticut.

His sketches about traveling in Europe were also expanded to become The Innocents Abroad and Roughing It. They were a collection of his adventures, and both did very well. However, what he gained in the literary world were also offset by poor business dealings that included developing a new typesetting machine, a publishing house, an issue with unrestrained spending that resulted in frequent financial difficulties– something that would plague him throughout his life.

Twain was the co-author along with Charles Warner of the 1973 book The Gilded Age. After that, he began to jot down his memories of childhood in the Mississippi. This resulted in the very famous and critically acclaimed books that focused on boys growing up in the Mississippi area, often oblivious to the adult struggles and themes that lay all around them. Huckleberry Finn took him the better part of a decade to work on but when he was done with it and published the novel, it was a smash hit.

Twain ended up trying his hand at historical romance fiction. He also continued to write about his travel experiences, putting them down into his 1897 novel Following the Equator. He was friends with many notable people in those years, including Ulysses S. Grant, whose memoirs were published by Twain himself in 1885 (and made possible by Twain’s very own urging).

He lived in Europe for much of the 1890s. However, when his daughter Susy occurred in 1896 and then his daughter Jean fell ill, his writing turned more bitter in tone. This could be seen in many of his novels. When his financial troubles had finally resolved in his later years, Twain finally settled down near Redding, Connecticut. He lived in his Stormfield Mansion on April 21, 1910. He has written several books he is known for and is famous throughout America and the world. He has also written three novels in a series about Adam and Eve, as well as several standalone novels.

Mark Twain has contributed to numerous collections as well that include Mark Twain’s Sketches, Merry Tales, The $30,000 Bequest, and more, the most recent being Alonzo Fitz, published posthumously in 2001. He has had several non-fiction books come out in the course of his lengthy writing career. Mark Twain has also had stories featured in a number of anthologies, including The Golden Road and others. He has also written several short stories that include Luck, among others.

He is the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which was published in 1876. This book was largely inspired by his memories of his childhood, and the book is seen as a celebration of childhood. The main character is Tom Sawyer, a young boy who is curious, impulsive, a bad scholar, and a menace to his tolerant Aunt Polly. This story of boyhood adventure has been a bestseller for years and is a celebration and a reminder of what it is like to be a child while at the same time taking an honest and nearly photographic look at the South at that period of time.

Tom spends most of his time trying to avoid having to do work or anything with school or punishment. He puts a lot of energy into trying to get around what others want him to do. Filled with humor and nostalgia, adult reality and innocence of childhood, Tom Sawyer is a masterwork from Twain that perches on themes and real-life happenings of the time that became an American classic.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in 1885. This focused on the main character Huck Finn, a young boy in the Mississippi area that takes a journey down the river on a raft. Huck gets away from his alcoholic father and the civilizing Widow Douglas with the help of his new friend Jim, who is a runaway slave. Together they go on a series of adventures that take them to fighting families and some tricky adults too.

This novel summed up the voice of the American people and the nation at that time and is a piece of history right from the pages of the nineteenth century. Mark Twain’s classic tale of a boy who is daring and even self-sufficient to an extent shows the undercurrents that were sweeping through the States at that time. Adult control and slavery threaten to break up Huck and Jim amidst all this light-hearted fun. If you have not yet read this novel, pick up this book and see why it is such a favorite.

Books published in order by series

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn Books

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer(1876) 
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(1885) 
Tom Sawyer Abroad(1894) 
Tom Sawyer Detective(1896) 
Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Among the Indians and Other Unfinished Stories(1989) 

Diaries Of Adam and Eve Books

Extracts from Adam’s Diary(1904) 
Eve’s Diary(1906) 

Standalone Novels

The Gilded Age(1873) 
The Prince and the Pauper(1881) 
The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson(1884) 
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc(1886) 
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court(1889) 
The American Claimant(1892) 
A Double Barrelled Detective Story(1902) 
A Dog’s Tale(1904) 
King Leopold’s Soliloquy(1905) 
A Horse’s Tale(1907) 
Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven(1909) 
The Adventures of Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass(1928) 
A Murder, a Mystery and a Marriage(1945) 
The Adventures of Colonel Sellers(1965) 

Short Story Collections

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County(1867) 
Eye Openers(1871) 
Mark Twain’s Sketches(1874) 
Sketches, New and Old(1875) 
The Stolen White Elephant(1882) 
Merry Tales(1892) 
The 1,000,000 Pound Bank-Note(1893) 
The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg(1900) 
The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories(1906) 
The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories(1916) 
Alonzo Fitz and Other Stories(2001) 

Non-Fiction Books

The Innocents Abroad(1869) 
Mark Twain’s Autobiography and First Romance(1871) 
The Innocents At Home(1872) 
Roughing It(1872) 
A Tramp Abroad(1880) 
Life on the Mississippi(1883) 
Following the Equator(1897) 
How to Tell a Story and Other Essays(1897) 
English As She is Taught(1900) 
What is Man?(1906) 
My Debut as a Literary Person(1906) 
Christian Science(1907) 
Is Shakespeare Dead?(1909) 
Mark Twain’s Speeches(1910) 
Letters from the Earth(1962) 
%d bloggers like this: