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

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, 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 the comet's subsequent return. He was lauded as...

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in 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...

In 1847, when Twain was 11, his father died of pneumonia. The next year, he became a printer's apprentice. In 1851, he...

On a voyage to New Orleans down the Mississippi, steamboat pilot Horace E. Bixby inspired Twain to become a pilot...

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, a senior official in the Federal government. Twain later wrote a sketch,...

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...

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 worked at a Virginia City newspaper, the...

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

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 November 18, 1865. It...

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

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

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

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

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...

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...

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...

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 film...

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

Twain also lost money through his publishing house, which enjoyed initial success selling the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant but went broke soon after, losing money on a biography of Pope Leo XIII; fewer than two...

Twain's writings and lectures, combined with the help of a new friend, enabled him to recover financially. In 1893, he began...

Twain accepted an offer from Robert Sparrow Smythe and embarked on a year-long, around-the-world lecture...

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

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, 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 death in 1904 and...

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

"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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 and Will Bowen. The book also...

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...

Twain's next major published work, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, solidified him as a noteworthy American writer....

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...

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 from his writing projects. Twain focused on President Ulysses S. Grant's...

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

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

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....

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...

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...

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

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

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 religious organizations or individuals in positions of...

When I finished Carlyle's French Revolution in 1871, I was a Girondin; every time I have read it since, I have read...

In the New York Herald, October 15, 1900, he 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 Philippines, I asked myself? ... I said to myself, Here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free...

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...

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...

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...

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

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 supported the...

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,...

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 that...

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 be an...

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

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...

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 labor movement, especially one of the most important unions, the...

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

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 his...

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...

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, Twain...

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

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

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 1900 and again in 1908, he stated, "I like Joan of...

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

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

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

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...

He maintained that his primary pen name came from his years working on Mississippi riverboats, where two fathoms, a depth...

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...

Twain's story about his pen name has been questioned by biographer George Williams III, and Purdue...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

Actor Hal Holbrook created a one-man show called Mark Twain Tonight, which he has performed regularly for about 59 years. The broadcast by CBS in 1967 won him an Emmy Award. Of the three...

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)...


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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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