Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 â€“ April 21, 1910), better known by his pen...

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. After an apprenticeship with a printer, he worked as a typesetter and contributed...

Though Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he invested in ventures that lost a great deal of...

Twain was born shortly after a visit by Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it," too. He died the day following the comet's...

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835. He was the son of Jane (née Lampton; 1803–1890), a native of Kentucky,...

When he was four, Twain's family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, a port town on the Mississippi River that inspired the fictional town of St. Petersburg in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry...

In 1847, when Twain was 11, his father died of pneumonia. The next year, he became a printer's apprentice. In 1851, he began working as a typesetter and contributor of articles and humorous sketches...

Twain describes in Life on the Mississippi how when he was a boy "there was but one permanent ambition" among his comrades: to be a...

At the start of the Civil War, Twain enlisted briefly in a Confederate local unit. He then left for Nevada to work for his...

Twain joined Orion, who in 1861 became secretary to James W. Nye, the governor of Nevada Territory, and...

Twain's journey ended in the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nevada, where he became a miner on the Comstock...

His experiences in the American West inspired Roughing It and his experiences in Angels Camp, California, in Calaveras County, provided material for "The...

Twain moved to San Francisco, California, in 1864, still as a journalist. He met writers such as Bret...

His first success as a writer came when his humorous tall tale, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," was published in a New York weekly, The Saturday Press, on...

In 1867, a local newspaper funded a trip to the Mediterranean. During his tour of Europe and the Middle East, he wrote a popular collection of travel...

Upon returning to the United States, Twain was offered honorary membership in the secret society Scroll and Key of...

Throughout 1868, Twain and Olivia Langdon corresponded, but she rejected his first marriage proposal. Two months later, they were engaged. In February 1870,...

Twain moved his family to Hartford, Connecticut, where starting in 1873 he arranged the building of a home (local admirers...

Twain made a second tour of Europe, described in the 1880 book A Tramp Abroad. His tour included a stay in...

Twain was fascinated with science and scientific inquiry. He developed a close and lasting friendship...

Twain patented three inventions, including an "Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments" (to replace suspenders) and a history trivia game. Most commercially successful was...

His book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court features a time traveler from the contemporary US, using his knowledge of science to introduce modern technology to Arthurian England. This type of storyline would later become a...

In 1909, Thomas Edison visited Twain at his home in Redding, Connecticut, and filmed him. Part of the footage was used in The Prince and the Pauper (1909), a two-reel short film....

Twain made a substantial amount of money through his writing, but he lost a great deal through investments, mostly in new...

Twain also lost money through his publishing house, Charles L. Webster and Company, which enjoyed initial success selling the memoirs of...

Twain's writings and lectures, combined with the help of a new friend, enabled him to recover...

Twain accepted an offer from Robert Sparrow Smythe to pay off his...

In mid-1900, he was the guest of newspaper proprietor Hugh Gilzean-Reid at Dollis Hill House, located on...

Twain was in demand as a featured speaker, performing solo humorous talks similar to what would become stand-up comedy. He gave paid talks to many men's clubs,...

Twain passed through a period of deep depression that began in 1896 when his daughter Susy died of meningitis. Olivia's death in 1904 and Jean's on December 24, 1909, deepened his gloom....

Twain formed a club in 1906 for girls he viewed as surrogate granddaughters, the Angel Fish and Aquarium Club. The dozen or so members ranged in age from 10 to 16. Twain exchanged letters with his...

"I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt:...

His prediction was accurate—Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut, one day after the...

Twain's funeral was at the "Old Brick" Presbyterian Church in New York. He is buried in his wife's family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, New York. The Langdon family plot where he...

Officials in Connecticut and New York estimated the value of Twain's estate at $471,000 ($12,000,000 today); his manuscripts were given no monetary value, and his copyrights...

Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse, but evolved into a chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, with...

A complete bibliography of his works is nearly impossible to compile because of the vast number of pieces written by Twain (often in obscure newspapers) and his use of several different pen names....

While writing for the Virginia City newspaper, the Territorial Enterprise in 1863, Clemens met lawyer Tom Fitch, editor of the competing newspaper Virginia Daily Union and known as the...

Twain's first important work, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," was first published in the New York Saturday Press on November 18, 1865. The only reason it was published there was that his story arrived too...

After this burst of popularity, the Sacramento Union commissioned Twain to write letters about his travel experiences. The first journey he took for this job was to ride the steamer Ajax in its...

This book is a record of a pleasure trip. If it were a record of a solemn scientific expedition it would have about it the gravity,...

In 1872, Twain published a second piece of travel literature, Roughing It, as a semi-sequel to Innocents. Roughing It is a...

Twain's next two works drew on his experiences on the Mississippi River. Old Times on the Mississippi, a series of sketches published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1875, featured Twain's disillusionment with...

Twain's next major publication was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which drew on his youth in Hannibal. Tom Sawyer was modeled on Twain as a child, with traces of two schoolmates, John Briggs...

The Prince and the Pauper, despite a storyline that is omnipresent in film and literature today, was not as well received. Telling the story of two boys born on the...

Twain's next major published work, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, solidified him as a noteworthy American writer. Some have called it the first Great American Novel, and the book has become required reading in many schools...

Near the completion of Huckleberry Finn, Twain wrote Life on the Mississippi, which is said to have heavily influenced the former...

After his great work, Twain began turning to his business endeavors to keep them afloat and to stave off the increasing difficulties he had been...

Twain next focused on A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which featured him making his first big...

To pay the bills and keep his business projects afloat, Twain had begun to write articles and commentary furiously, with diminishing returns,...

His next large-scale work, Pudd'nhead Wilson, was written rapidly, as Twain was desperately trying to stave off the bankruptcy. From November 12 to December 14, 1893, Twain wrote 60,000 words for...

Like The Prince and the Pauper, this novel also contains the tale of two boys born on the same day who switch positions in...

The actual title is not clearly established. It was first published serially in Century Magazine, and when it was finally published in book form, Pudd'nhead Wilson appeared as the main title; however, the disputed...

Twain's next venture was a work of straight fiction that he called Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc and dedicated to...

During this time of dire financial straits, Twain published several literary reviews in newspapers to help make ends meet. He famously derided James Fenimore Cooper in his article detailing Cooper's "Literary...

Other authors to fall under Twain's attack during this time period (beginning around 1890 until his death) were George Eliot, Jane Austen, and Robert Louis Stevenson....

Twain's wife died in 1904 while the couple were staying at the Villa di Quarto in Florence; and, after an appropriate period of time, Twain allowed himself to publish some works that his wife, a de facto editor and censor throughout...

Twain's last work was his autobiography, which he dictated and thought would be most entertaining if he went off on whims and tangents...

Twain’s works have been subjected to censorship efforts. According to Stuart (2013) “Leading these banning campaigns, generally, were...

Twain's views became more radical as he grew older. He acknowledged that his views changed and developed over his life, referring...

When I finished Carlyle's French Revolution in 1871, I was a Girondin; every time I have read it since, I have read it differently—being influenced and changed,...

In the New York Herald, October 15, 1900, he describes his transformation and political awakening, in the...

I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific ... Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? ... I said to myself, Here are a people who have suffered for three...

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris [which ended...

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having...

Before 1899, Twain was an ardent imperialist. In the late 1860s and early 1870s, he spoke out strongly in favor of American interests in the Hawaiian...

Twain was critical of imperialism in other countries as well. In Following the Equator, Twain expresses "hatred and condemnation of imperialism of all stripes." He was highly critical of European imperialism, notably of Cecil...

During the Philippine-American War, Twain wrote a short pacifist story entitled The War Prayer, which makes the point that humanism and Christianity's preaching of...

Twain acknowledged he originally sympathized with the more moderate Girondins of the French Revolution and then shifted his sympathies to the more radical Sansculottes, indeed...

I am said to be a revolutionist in my sympathies, by birth, by breeding and by principle. I am always on the side of the...

Twain was an adamant supporter of the abolition of slavery and emancipation of slaves, even going so far to say "Lincoln's Proclamation ......

His heart is a cesspool of falsehood, of treachery, and of low and devilish instincts. With him, gratitude is an unknown emotion; and when one does him a kindness, it is safest to keep the face...

As counterpoint, Twain's essay on "The Literary Offenses of Fenimore Cooper" offers a much kinder view of Indians. "No,...

Twain was also a staunch supporter of women's rights and an active campaigner for women's suffrage. His "Votes for Women" speech, in which he pressed for the granting of voting rights to women, is considered one of the most famous...

Twain wrote glowingly about unions in the river boating industry in Life on the Mississippi, which was...

Who are the oppressors? The few: the King, the capitalist, and a handful of other overseers and superintendents. Who are...

Twain was opposed to the vivisection practices of his day. His objection was not on a scientific basis but rather an...

I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or...

Although Twain was a Presbyterian, he was sometimes critical of organized religion and certain elements of Christianity through his later life. He wrote, for...

Twain generally avoided publishing his most heretical opinions on religion in his lifetime, and they are known from essays and stories that were published later. In the essay Three Statements of the Eighties in the 1880s,...

In 1901 Twain criticized the actions of missionary Dr. William Scott Ament (1851–1909) because Ament and other missionaries had...

After his death, Twain's family suppressed some of his work that was especially irreverent toward conventional religion, notably Letters...

Despite these views, he raised money to build a Presbyterian Church in Nevada in 1864, although it has...

Twain created a reverent portrayal of Joan of Arc, a subject over which he had obsessed for forty years, studied for a...

Those who knew Twain well late in life recount that he dwelt on the subject of the afterlife, his daughter Clara saying: "Sometimes he believed death ended everything, but most of the time he felt sure of a...

There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory as it is—in our country particularly...

Twain was a Freemason. He belonged to Polar Star Lodge No. 79 A.F.&A.M., based in St. Louis. He was initiated an...

Twain used different pen names before deciding on "'Mark Twain". He signed humorous and imaginative sketches as "Josh" until...

He maintained that his primary pen name came from his years working on Mississippi riverboats, where two fathoms, a depth indicating safe water for passage of boat, was measured on the sounding line. Twain is an archaic term for...

Captain Isaiah Sellers was not of literary turn or capacity, but he used to jot down brief paragraphs of plain practical information about the river, and sign them "MARK TWAIN," and give them to the New Orleans Picayune. They...

Twain's story about his pen name has been questioned by biographer George Williams III, The claim is that "mark twain" refers to a running bar...

Twain's legacy lives on today as his namesakes continue to multiply. Several schools are named after...

Mark Twain Village is a United States Army installation located in the Südstadt district of Heidelberg, Germany. It is one of two...

Awards in his name proliferate. In 1998, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts created the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, awarded annually. The Mark Twain Award is an award given annually to a book for...

Buildings associated with Twain, including some of his many homes, have been preserved as museums. His birthplace is preserved in Florida, Missouri. The Mark Twain...

On December 4, 1985, the United States Postal Service issued a stamped envelope for "Mark Twain and Halley's...

Twain is often depicted wearing a white suit. While there is evidence that suggests that, after Livy's death in 1904, Twain began wearing white suits on the lecture circuit, modern representations suggesting...

Actor Hal Holbrook created a one-man show called Mark Twain Tonight, which he has performed regularly for about 59...

Twain was portrayed by Fredric March in the 1944 film The Adventures of Mark Twain. He was later brought to life by James Whitmore in the (similarly titled) 1985 Will Vinton Claymation film The Adventures of...


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  • Mark Twain Biography
    Samuel Langhorne CLEMENS. 1835-1910. Nationality: American Place of Birth: Florida, Missouri, United States Place of Death: Redding, CT, United States

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    Mark Twain , Writer / Humorist Born: 30 November 1835 Birthplace: Florida, Missouri Died: 21 April 1910 (heart failure) Best Known As: The author of

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    Probe the depth of Mark Twain's life on biography.com, creator of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, but also an incredible food writer and public speaker.

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