Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 â€“ April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom...

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 articles to the newspaper of...

Though Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he invested in ventures that lost a great deal of money, notably the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter, which failed because of its complexity and...

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 subsequent return. He was lauded as the "greatest...

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in the city of Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835. He was the son of Jane (née Lampton;...

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...

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...

Twain describes in Life on the Mississippi how, when he was a boy, "there was but one permanent ambition" among...

At the start of the Civil War, Twain enlisted briefly in a Confederate local unit. He then left for Nevada to work for his brother, Orion Clemens, who was Secretary of the Nevada Territory, which Twain describes in...

Twain joined Orion, who in 1861 became secretary to James W. Nye, the governor of Nevada Territory, and headed west. Twain and his brother traveled more than two weeks...

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

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

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

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 letters, which were later...

Upon returning to the United States, Twain was offered honorary membership in the secret society Scroll and Key of Yale University in 1868. Its...

Throughout 1868, Twain and Olivia Langdon corresponded. Though she rejected his first marriage proposal, two months later, they were engaged. In February 1870, Twain and Langdon were married in Elmira, New York, where...

Twain moved his family to Hartford, Connecticut, where starting in 1873 he arranged the building of a home. In the 1870s and 1880s, Twain and his family summered at Quarry Farm, the home of Olivia's sister, Susan Crane....

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 a...

His book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court features a time traveler from the contemporary US, using his...

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. It is said to have been the only known existing...

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

Twain also lost money through his publishing house, Charles L. Webster and Company, which enjoyed initial success selling the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, but went broke soon after,...

Reacting to the dwindling income Twain and his family closed down their expensive Hartford home and moved to Europe in June 1891. William M. Laffan of the New York Sun and the McClure Newspaper Syndicate offered Twain the publication of a...

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

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

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

Twain passed through a period of deep depression that began in 1896 when his daughter, Susy, died of meningitis. Olivia's...

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...

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 is buried is marked by a 12-foot...

Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse, but evolved into a chronicler of the vanities,...

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...

While writing for the Virginia City newspaper, the Territorial Enterprise in 1863, Clemens met lawyer Tom...

Twain's first important work, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", was first published in the New York Saturday Press on November 18,...

After this burst of popularity, the Sacramento Union commissioned Twain to write letters about his travel experiences. The...

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, that profundity,...

In 1872, Twain published a second piece of travel literature, Roughing It, as a semi-sequel to Innocents. Roughing It is a semi-autobiographical account of Twain's journey from Missouri to Nevada, his subsequent life in the...

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 next major publication was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which drew on his youth in Hannibal. Tom Sawyer was modeled on...

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 same day who are physically identical, the book...

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...

If you read it, you must stop where the Nigger Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is...

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

After his great work, Twain began turning to his business endeavors to keep them afloat and to stave off the...

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

His next large-scale work, Pudd'nhead Wilson, was written rapidly, as Twain was desperately trying to stave off the...

Like The Prince and the Pauper, this novel also contains the tale of two boys born on the same day who switch positions in life. Considering the circumstances of Twain's birth...

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...

Twain's next venture was a work of straight fiction that he called Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc and dedicated to his wife. Twain had long said that this was the work he was most proud of, despite the criticism he received...

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...

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...

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...

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

Twain's works have been subjected to censorship efforts. According to Stuart (2013) "Leading these banning campaigns, generally, were religious organizations or individuals in positions of influence –...

Twain's views became more radical as he grew older. In a letter to friend and fellow writer William Dean...

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, little by little, by life and...

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 centuries. We can make...

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris , and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the...

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic...

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 Islands. In the mid-1890s he explained later, he was "a red-hot imperialist. I...

Twain was critical of imperialism in other countries as well. In Following the Equator, Twain expresses "hatred and...

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

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

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

Twain was an adamant supporter of the abolition of slavery and emancipation of slaves, even going so far to say "Lincoln's Proclamation ... not only set the black slaves free, but set the white man free also". He argued...

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 toward him, lest the reward...

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

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...

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 the oppressed? The many: the nations of the earth; the valuable...

Twain was opposed to the vivisection practices of his day. His objection was not on a scientific basis but rather an ethical one. He specifically cited the pain caused to the...

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

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

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...

In 1901, Twain criticized the actions of missionary Dr. William Scott Ament (1851–1909) because Ament and other missionaries had collected indemnities from Chinese subjects in the aftermath of...

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

Despite these views, he raised money to build a Presbyterian Church in Nevada in 1864, although it has been argued that it was only by his association with his Presbyterian brother that he did...

Twain created a reverent portrayal of Joan of Arc, a subject over which he had obsessed for forty years, studied for a dozen years and spent two years writing. In...

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 life...

Twain's frankest views on religion appeared in his final work Autobiography of Mark Twain, the...

There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and...

Twain was a Freemason. He belonged to Polar Star Lodge No. 79 A.F.&A.M., based in St. Louis. He was initiated an Entered Apprentice on May 22, 1861, passed to the degree of...

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

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...

Captain Isaiah Sellers was not of literary turn or capacity, but he used to jot down brief...

Twain's story about his pen name has been questioned by some with the suggestion that "mark twain" refers to a running bar tab that Twain would regularly incur while...

Twain's legacy lives on today as his namesakes continue to multiply. Several schools are named after him, including Mark Twain Elementary School in Wheeling, Illinois, and...

Mark Twain Village is a United States Army installation located in the Südstadt district of Heidelberg, Germany. It is one of two American bases in the United States Army Garrison Heidelberg that house American soldiers and...

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...

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 Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Missouri preserves the...

On December 4, 1985, the United States Postal Service issued a stamped envelope for "Mark Twain and Halley's Comet", noting the connection with Twain's birth, his death, and the comet. On June...

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 60 years. The broadcast by CBS in 1967 won him an Emmy Award. Of the three runs on...

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...


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    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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