Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 â€“ April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author...

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 his older brother, Orion...

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...

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 after the comet returned. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and...

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

When he was four, Twain's family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, a port town on the Mississippi River that...

In 1847, when Twain was 11, his father, by then an attorney and judge, died of pneumonia. to become a printer's apprentice....

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 steamboatman. "Pilot was the grandest position of all. The pilot, even in those days of trivial...

While training, Samuel convinced his younger brother Henry to work with him. Henry was killed on June 21, 1858, when the...

Twain continued to work on the river and was a river pilot until the American Civil War broke out in 1861, and traffic along the Mississippi was curtailed. At the start of...

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

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

His experiences in the American West inspired Roughing It (written during 1870–71 and published in 1872) and his experiences in Angels Camp,...

Twain moved to San Francisco in 1864, still as a journalist, and met writers such as Bret Harte and Artemus Ward. The young poet Ina Coolbrith may...

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 November 18, 1865. It...

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 compiled as The Innocents...

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

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

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 in Elmira, the home of Olivia's sister,...

Twain made a second tour of Europe, described in the book A Tramp Abroad (1880). His tour included a stay in Heidelberg from May 6 until July...

Twain was fascinated with science and scientific inquiry. He developed a close and lasting friendship with Nikola Tesla, and the...

Twain patented three inventions, including an "Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments" (to replace suspenders) and a...

Twain's novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) features a time traveler from the contemporary US, using his knowledge of science to introduce modern technology to Arthurian England. This type...

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...

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

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

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...

Twain's writings and lectures, combined with the help of a new friend, enabled him to recover financially. In fall 1893, he began a 15-year-long friendship with financier Henry Huttleston Rogers, a principal of...

Twain accepted an offer from Robert Sparrow Smythe to pay off his creditors in full, although he was no longer under any...

Twain was in great 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'...

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,...

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...

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: 'Now...

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...

Officials in Connecticut and New York estimated the value of Twain's estate at $471,000 ($12,000,000...

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

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. Additionally, a large...

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

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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 and...

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...

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 throughout the...

Near the completion of Huckleberry Finn, Twain wrote Life on the Mississippi, which is said to have heavily influenced the former book. The work recounts Twain's...

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

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

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 the novel. Critics...

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 and Halley's Comet, and his...

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...

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...

During this time of dire financial straits, Twain published several literary reviews in newspapers to help make ends meet. He famously...

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

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...

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....

Twain's works have been subjected to censorship efforts. According to Stuart (2013) "Leading these banning campaigns,...

Twain's views became more radical as he grew older. In a letter to friend and fellow writer William Dean Howells in 1887, he acknowledged that his views...

In the New York Herald, October 16, 1900, Twain describes his transformation and political awakening, in the context of the...

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris [which ended 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 questions in their own way. And so I am an...

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...

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 titled The War Prayer, which makes the point that humanism and Christianity's preaching of love are incompatible with the conduct of war. It was...

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

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

Twain's sympathetic views on race were not reflected in his early writings on Native Americans. Of them, Twain wrote...

As counterpoint, Twain's essay on "The Literary Offenses of Fenimore Cooper" offers a much kinder view...

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...

Twain wrote glowingly about unions in the river boating industry in Life on the Mississippi, which was read in union halls decades later. He supported the...

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 personages; the workers; they that...

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 believing what...

Twain generally avoided publishing his most heretical opinions on religion in his lifetime, and they are known from...

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...

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

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

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 1900 and again in 1908, he...

Those who knew Twain well late in life recount that he dwelt on the subject of the afterlife, his daughter...

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...

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 animal as his basis of...

I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't. ... The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my...

Twain used different pen names before deciding on "'Mark Twain". He signed humorous and imaginative sketches as "Josh" until 1863. Additionally, he used the pen name "Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass" for a...

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...

Twain's story about his pen name has been questioned by some with the suggestion that "mark twain" refers to a...

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...


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    Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novels ...

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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

  • Mark Twain: Biography from Answers.com
    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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    Read works by Mark Twain for free at Read Print.