Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Twain, Mark (1835-1910), was the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, one of the major authors of American fiction. Twain is also considered the greatest humorist in American literature. Twains varied works include novels, travel narratives, short stories, sketches, and essays. His writings about the Mississippi River, such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, have been especially popular among modern readers.

Early life

Boyhood. Mark Twain was born on Nov. 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. In 1839, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, a village on the Mississippi River. Here the young Twain experienced the excitement of the colorful steamboats that docked at the town wharf, bringing comedians, singers, gamblers, swindlers, slave dealers, and assorted other river travelers.

Twain also gained his first experience in a print shop in Hannibal. After his father died in debt in 1847, Twain went to work for a newspaper and printing firm. In 1851, he began assisting his older brother Orion in the production of a newspaper, the Hannibal Journal. Twain contributed reports, poems, and humorous sketches to the Journal for several years. Like many American authors of his day, Twain had little

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