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...

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...

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...

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

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...

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 for the...

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...

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 his book,...

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...

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...

His experiences in the American West inspired Roughing It and his experiences in Angels Camp,...

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

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 letters, which were later compiled as The Innocents Abroad...

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

Throughout 1868, Twain and Olivia Langdon corresponded, but she rejected his first marriage proposal. Two months later,...

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...

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 with Nikola Tesla, and the two spent much time together in...

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 knowledge of science to introduce modern technology to Arthurian...

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...

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 Paige typesetting...

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, losing...

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 had offered...

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,...

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

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

Twain was in-demand as a featured speaker, performing solo humorous talks, similar to what would become...

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. On May 20, 1909, his close...

Twain formed a club in 1906 for girls he viewed as surrogate granddaughters, the Angel Fish and Aquarium Club. The dozen or so members...

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...

His prediction was accurate—Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Redding,...

Twain's funeral was at the "Old Brick" Presbyterian Church in New York. He is buried in his wife's family plot at...

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 Huckleberry Finn, he combined...

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...

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 "silver-tongued orator of the Pacific".:51 He...

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...

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 maiden voyage to Hawaii, referred to at 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, and that impressive incomprehensibility which are so proper...

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

Twain's next two works drew on his experiences on the Mississippi River. Old Times on the Mississippi, a series of...

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...

The Prince and the Pauper, despite a storyline that is omnipresent in film and literature today, was not as well received....

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...

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

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 memories and new...

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 having...

Twain next focused on A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which featured him making his first big pronouncement of disappointment with politics. Written with the same historical fiction style of...

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

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 and Halley's Comet, and his strong belief in the paranormal,...

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...

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,...

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 Offenses". He...

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. In addition to providing...

Twain's wife died in 1904 while the couple were staying at the Villa di Quarto in Florence; and, after...

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...

Twain’s works have been subjected to censorship efforts. According to Stuart (2013) “Leading these...

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

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...

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

I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific ... Why not spread its wings over the...

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

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...

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

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...

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 love are incompatible with the...

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 identifying as "a Marat". Twain...

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 revolutionists, because there never was a revolution unless there were some oppressive and intolerable conditions...

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"....

His heart is a cesspool of falsehood, of treachery, and of low and devilish instincts. With him, gratitude is an...

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 these...

Twain was also a staunch supporter of women's rights and an active campaigner for women's suffrage. His "Votes for Women"...

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

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...

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

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...

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 1901, Twain criticized the actions of missionary Dr. William Scott Ament (1851–1909) because Ament...

After his death, Twain's family suppressed some of his work that was especially irreverent toward conventional religion, notably Letters from the Earth, which was not published until...

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 stated, "I like Joan of Arc best of all my...

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

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

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

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,...

Twain used different pen names before deciding on "'Mark Twain". He signed humorous and imaginative sketches as "Josh" until 1863....

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 paragraphs of plain practical information about the...

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...

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,...

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

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...

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

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 25, 2011,...

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 that he wore them throughout his...

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

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 Mark Twain. In the...


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