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

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...

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

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...

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, and John Marshall...

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...

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...

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, and headed west. Twain and his brother traveled more than two weeks on a stagecoach across the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains,...

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 Territorial...

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

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...

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 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 and Langdon were married in Elmira, New York, where he courted...

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...

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...

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

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 Pauper (1909), a two-reel short film. It is said...

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, Charles L. Webster and Company, which enjoyed...

Reacting to the dwindling income Twain and his family closed down their expensive Hartford home and...

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...

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

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

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 "Angel...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 American...

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...

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. Telling the story of two boys...

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...

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

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

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

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

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....

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...

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 for...

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

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...

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

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

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 environment ... and now...

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 , and I have seen...

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

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...

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

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

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

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

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...

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,...

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 things, but Cooper's...

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

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 oppressed? The many:...

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...

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

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...

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...

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 religion,...

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...

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...

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...

There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory as it is—in our country particularly and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified...

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 Fellow Craft on June 12, and raised to the degree...

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"...

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...

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...

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

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 Elementary School in Houston, Texas,...

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...

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...

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

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...

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 Broadway (1966, 1977,...

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...


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  • Mark Twain - Wikipedia, the free…
    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.