mark twain short biography

Author of. Twain stayed in Hannibal until age 17. Mark Twain is the pen name of Samuel Clemens. When he was 4 years old, his family moved to nearby Hannibal, a bustling river town of 1,000 people. At first, he prospected for silver and gold, convinced that he would become the savior of his struggling family and the sharpest-dressed man in Virginia City and San Francisco. He would later go by the "pen name" Mark Twain as a writer. Hemingway's comment refers specifically to the colloquial language of Twain's masterpiece, as for perhaps the first time in America, the vivid, raw, not-so-respectable voice of the common folk was used to create great literature. His publishing house eventually went bankrupt. Hannibal inspired several of Twain's fictional locales, including "St. Petersburg" in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. In private he demonstrated a stunning insensitivity to friends and loved ones. The family was having a tough time since their breadwinner had died which made Mark take on the leading role in the family and got a job as a printer. Insofar as Clemens could be said to have inherited his sense of humour, it would have come from his mother, not his father. John Clemens’s death contributed further to the family’s financial instability. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! The sixth child of John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampton, Twain lived in Florida, Missouri until the age of four, at which time his family relocated to the town of Hannibal in hopes of improving … Mark Twain Tribute Photos of Twain set to music. Two years later he witnessed the drowning of one of his friends, and only a few days later, when he and some friends were fishing on Sny Island, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi, they discovered the drowned and mutilated body of a fugitive slave. He worked briefly as a typesetter in St. Louis in 1853 before traveling to New York City to work at a large printing shop. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). However, Twain worried about being a Westerner. A Dog's Tale. There were local diversions as well—fishing, picnicking, and swimming. Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. John Clemens opened a store and eventually became a justice of the peace, which entitled him to be called “Judge” but not to a great deal more. A few years after his birth, he would move to Hannibal, MO. Early in their marriage, he and Livy had lost their toddler son, Langdon, to diphtheria; in 1896, his favorite daughter, Susy, died at the age of 24 of spinal meningitis. Twain's first book, "The Innocents Abroad," was published in 1869, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" in 1876, and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in 1885. Twain became one of the best-known storytellers in the West. In those years, the country's cultural life was dictated by an Eastern establishment centered in New York City and Boston — a straight-laced, Victorian, moneyed group that cowed Twain. When Huck Finn finally was published in 1884, Livy gave it a chilly reception. "All modern American literature comes from one book by Twain called Huckleberry Finn," Ernest Hemingway wrote in 1935, giving short shrift to Herman Melville and others but making an interesting point. His youngest daughter, Jean, was diagnosed with severe epilepsy. In 1889, Twain published A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, a science-fiction/historical novel about ancient England. Co-founder of the successful startup Broadcast.com, Mark Cuban is known as the zealous owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and a star of the TV show 'Shark Tank.'. It is not surprising that the pleasant events of youth, filtered through the softening lens of memory, might outweigh disturbing realities. Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri and would later use that location as the setting for two of his most famous works, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. His parents met when his father moved to Missouri. Mark Twain. She became head of the household in 1847 when John died unexpectedly. He published his works with the pen name Mark Twain. His mother tried various allopathic and hydropathic remedies on him during those early years, and his recollections of those instances (along with other memories of his growing up) would eventually find their way into Tom Sawyer and other writings. However, in many ways the childhood of Samuel Clemens was a rough one. Mark Twain Worksheets This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Mark Twain across 19 in-depth pages. "Wheresoever she was, there was Eden," he wrote in tribute to her. After the death of his father, Sam Clemens worked at several odd jobs in town, and in 1848 he became a printer’s apprentice for Joseph P. Ament’s Missouri Courier. A Short Biography of Mark Twain. Writing this work, commented biographer Everett Emerson, freed Twain temporarily from the "inhibitions of the culture he had chosen to embrace.". Apart from family worries, the social environment was hardly idyllic. They were married in 1823. A gifted raconteur, distinctive humorist, and irascible moralist, he transcended the apparent limitations of his origins to become a popular public figure and one of America’s best and most beloved writers. He wrote 28 books and numerous short stories, letters and sketches. Some of his early sketches, such as “The Dandy Frightening the Squatter” (1852), circulated in local newspapers. Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, was the celebrated author of several novels, including two major classics of American literature: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In 1848 Mark Twain became a printer’s apprentice for the Missouri Courier. Learn more about his biography, writing style, and major works. Twain loved his career — it was exciting, well-paying and high-status, roughly akin to flying a jetliner today. Mark Twain, the writer, adventurer and wily social critic born Samuel Clemens, wrote the novels 'Adventures of Tom Sawyer' and 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.’. Twain suffered volcanic rages and nasty bouts of paranoia, and he experienced many periods of depressed indolence, which he tried to assuage by smoking cigars, reading in bed and playing endless hours of billiards and cards. Still, John Clemens believed the Tennessee land he had purchased in the late 1820s (some 70,000 acres [28,000 hectares]) might one day make them wealthy, and this prospect cultivated in the children a dreamy hope. Nevertheless, by the time Clemens was 13, his boyhood had effectively come to an end. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. In January 1845 Clemens watched a man die in the street after he had been shot by a local merchant; this incident provided the basis for the Boggs shooting in Huckleberry Finn. Professor Emeritus of English, University of Missouri, Columbia. Another cause of his angst, perhaps, was his unconscious anger at himself for not giving undivided attention to his deepest creative instincts, which centered on his Missouri boyhood. The Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, is now a popular attraction and is designated a National Historic Landmark. As Halley's comet reached its perihelion — its closest point to the sun — Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in the sleepy, little town of Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835. In 1839 his family moved to the Mississippi port town of Hannibal in search of greater economic opportunities. But while those years were gilded with awards, they also brought him much anguish. A Burlesque Biography. His memory faltered. Twain hoped that she would "reform" him, a mere humorist, from his rustic ways. An actor reads his words. Elsewhere, Chicago Hope and NCIS. Biography. Perhaps it was the romantic visionary in him that caused Clemens to recall his youth in Hannibal with such fondness. His next step up the ladder of success came in 1867, when he took a five-month sea cruise in the Mediterranean, writing humorously about the sights for American newspapers with an eye toward getting a book out of the trip. The Clemens family "now became almost destitute," wrote biographer Everett Emerson, and was forced into years of economic struggle — a fact that would shape the career of Twain. He is called the father of American Literature by William Faulkner. Some of these later works have enduring merit, and his unfinished work The Chronicle of Young Satan has fervent admirers today. This was an old term used by pilots to show how deep the water is where they throw the lead. These events would find a way into his short stories and books‚ particularly Roughing It. Mark Twain Biography Growing Up. Writing to a friend shortly after his wedding, Twain could not believe his good luck: "I have ... the only sweetheart I have ever loved ... she is the best girl, and the sweetest, and gentlest, and the daintiest, and she is the most perfect gem of womankind.". Mark Twain (a.k.a., Samuel Longhorne Clemens) was born in the little town of Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835, shortly after his family had moved there from Tennessee. His most famous novels included The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), which are loosely based on Twain’s boyhood experiences in Missouri. His answer: the great American West. John Clemens, by all reports, was a serious man who seldom demonstrated affection. At the age of 11, his father died and the next year Twain had to gain employment as a printer’s apprentice. The town, situated on the Mississippi River, was in many ways a splendid place to grow up. Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in the town of Florida, Missouri, in 1835. The last piece of writing he did, evidently, was the short humorous sketch “Etiquette for the Afterlife: Advice to Paine.” The sketch was published posthumously in 1995. Then, in 1857, 21-year-old Twain fulfilled a dream: He began learning the art of piloting a steamboat on the Mississippi. Christened as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the man who would call himself Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835 in the small river town of Florida, Missouri, just 200 miles from Indian Territory. Twain knew his way around a newspaper office, so that September, he went to work as a reporter for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. You are likely familiar with the name but you might be wondering “who was MarkTwain?” It was the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a famous American writer, humorist, lecturer, and journalist. Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, (born November 30, 1835, Florida, Missouri, U.S.—died April 21, 1910, Redding, Connecticut), American humorist, journalist, lecturer, and novelist who acquired international fame for his travel narratives, especially The Innocents Abroad (1869), Roughing It (1872), and Life on the Mississippi (1883), and for his adventure stories of … - Mark Twain Biography and List of Works - Mark Twain Books In 1883 he put out Life on the Mississippi, an interesting but safe travel book. In Old Times on the Mississippi (1875), he recalled his childhood in Hannibal with fondness. He was buried in Elmira, New York. M ark Twain himself was Twain’s first successful work of fiction. No doubt his temperament was affected by his worries over his financial situation, made all the more distressing by a series of business failures. Thankfully, Twain's glorious "low-minded" Western voice broke through on occasion. A licensed steamboat pilot by 1859, he soon found regular employment plying the shoals and channels of the great river. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Mark Twain Biography - Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 - April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was a famous and popular American humorist, novelist, writer and lecturer. For many years, Twain's relationship with middle daughter Clara was distant and full of quarrels. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called “The Great American Novel”. Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, (born November 30, 1835, Florida, Missouri, U.S.—died April 21, 1910, Redding, Connecticut), American humorist, journalist, lecturer, and novelist who acquired international fame for his travel narratives, especially The Innocents Abroad (1869), Roughing It (1872), and Life on the Mississippi (1883), and for his adventure stories of boyhood, especially The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). After failing as a silver prospector‚ Sam began writing for the Territorial Enterprise‚ a Virginia City‚ Nevada newspaper where he used‚ for the first time‚ his pen name‚ Mark Twain. Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in the tiny village of Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835, the sixth child of John and Jane Clemens. Born in Florida, Missouri in 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens would start a life that would be filled with great satire short stories. Mark Twain Biography. In the summers, Clemens visited his uncle John Quarles’s farm, near Florida, Missouri, where he played with his cousins and listened to stories told by the slave Uncle Daniel, who served, in part, as a model for Jim in Huckleberry Finn. “Afraid I wouldn’t live?” “No,” she said, “afraid you would.”. His sister Margaret died of a fever when Clemens was not yet four years old; three years later his brother Benjamin died. Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri, USA, to Jane (née Lampton) and John Marshall Clemens. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Sam kept up his schooling until he was about 12 years old, when — with his father dead and the family needing a source of income — he found employment as an apprentice printer at the Hannibal Courier, which paid him with a meager ration of food. He got a big break in 1865, when one of his tales about life in a mining camp, "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog," was printed in newspapers and magazines around the country (the story later appeared under various titles). Samuel Clemens, the sixth child of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens, was born two months prematurely and was in relatively poor health for the first 10 years of his life. But absent or not, throughout 34 years of marriage, Twain had indeed loved his wife. © 2020 Biography and the Biography logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC. Judging from his own speculative ventures in silver mining, business, and publishing, it was a curse that Sam Clemens never quite outgrew. Bence’s act of courage and kindness served in some measure as a model for Huck’s decision to help the fugitive Jim in Huckleberry Finn. A Monument To Adam. He spent his boyhood in nearby Hannibal, on the banks of the Mississippi River, observing its busy life, fascinated by its romance, but chilled by the violence and bloodshed it bred. Huck Finn required years to conceptualize and write, and Twain often put it aside. Twain became somewhat bitter in his later years, even while projecting an amiable persona to his public. He was one of the couple’s seven children, but only three of his siblings survived childhood. As he remembered it in “Old Times on the Mississippi” (1875), the village was a “white town drowsing in the sunshine of a summer’s morning,” until the arrival of a riverboat suddenly made it a hive of activity. He is regarded as the great humorist of the United States. Mark Twain passed away on April 21, 1910, but has a following still today. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. One evening in 1844 Clemens discovered a corpse in his father’s office; it was the body of a California emigrant who had been stabbed in a quarrel and was placed there for the inquest. Twain's financial failings, reminiscent in some ways of his father's, had serious consequences for his state of mind. Among those companions was Tom Blankenship, an affable but impoverished boy whom Twain later identified as the model for the character Huckleberry Finn. Probably the most famous American of the late 19th century, he was much photographed and applauded wherever he went. He lavished many hours on this and other business ventures, and was certain that his efforts would be rewarded with enormous wealth, but he never achieved the success he expected. From there he went to Philadelphia and on to Washington, D.C.; then he returned to New York, only to find work hard to come by because of fires that destroyed two publishing houses. Death from disease during this time was common. They contributed powerfully to a growing pessimism in him, a deep-down feeling that human existence is a cosmic joke perpetrated by a chuckling God. If you want to know what happened to him at this time you must read a book he wrote, Life on the Mississippi River. It was the diminishing fortunes of the Clemens family that led them in 1839 to move 30 miles (50 km) east from Florida, Missouri, to the Mississippi River port town of Hannibal, where there were greater opportunities. The couple settled in Buffalo and later had four children. Mark Felt was an Associate Director at the FBI who became a secret informant and broke the Watergate story to reporters while disguised as "Deep Throat.". Steamboats arrived there three times a day, tooting their whistles; circuses, minstrel shows and revivalists paid visits; a decent library was available; and tradesmen such as blacksmiths and tanners practiced their entertaining crafts for all to see. Twain opted for the latter, joining the Confederate Army in June 1861 but serving for only a couple of weeks until his volunteer unit disbanded. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twai n (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910) was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. DOWNLOAD BIOGRAPHY'S MARK TWAIN FACT CARD. Mark Twain was an American humorist, novelist, and travel writer. He wrote a fair amount but was unable to finish most of his projects. Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) is best known as the Roman general who was a lover of Cleopatra. The man who has not experienced it cannot imagine the curse of it. Indeed, he was one of the most prominent celebrities in the world, traveling widely overseas, including a successful 'round-the-world lecture tour in 1895-96, undertaken to pay off his debts. In 1909, when she was 29 years old, Jean died of a heart attack. His brother Pleasant Han… Three years later his elder brother, Orion, bought the Hannibal Journal, and Twain began working for him as a typesetter. He was also a riverboat pilot, journalist, lecturer, entrepreneur and inventor. Today he is best remembered as the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Clemens was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, the town that inspired the setting in some of his most popular works such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. https://www.biography.com/writer/mark-twain. He was the sixth of seven children of Jane (née Lampton; 1803–1890), a native of Kentucky, and John Marshall Clemens (1798–1847), a native of Virginia. Mark Twain - short biography and literary slide show. In the meantime, he pursued respectability with the 1881 publication of The Prince and the Pauper, a charming novel endorsed with enthusiasm by his genteel family and friends. My parents removed to Missouri in the early ’thir In 1851, at 15, he got a job as a printer and occasional writer and editor at the Hannibal Western Union, a little newspaper owned by his brother, Orion. Twain was brought up in Hannibal, Missouri, a town on the great Mississippi River. Actor Hal Holbrook answers questions in the persona of Mark Twain. And the lives he might imagine for these living people could easily be embroidered by the romantic exploits he read in the works of James Fenimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott, and others. Childhood along the Mississippi. He churned out news stories, editorials and sketches, and along the way adopted the pen name Mark Twain — steamboat slang for 12 feet of water. "An indisputable and almost overwhelming sense of inferiority bounced around his psyche," wrote scholar Hamlin Hill, noting that these feelings were competing with his aggressiveness and vanity. We strive for accuracy and fairness. However, his service was cut short in 1861 by the outbreak of the Civil War, which halted most civilian traffic on the river. Later they moved to Hannibal of the same state where Twain’s father, a layer, got a job but, unfortunately, soon he got sick and passed away when the boy was a bit older than ten. A short biography of Mark Twain, author of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, written in easy-to-read English for younger readers. In 1869, The Innocents Abroad was published, and it became a nationwide bestseller. Those same adventures could be reenacted with his companions as well, and Clemens and his friends did play at being pirates, Robin Hood, and other fabled adventurers. ", In February 1870, he improved his social status by marrying 24-year-old Olivia (Livy) Langdon, the daughter of a rich New York coal merchant. The two committed suicide after their defeat by Octavian. A Letter To The Secretary Of The Treasury. Twain is widely considered one of the greatest American writers of all time. He started his career as a typesetter at a newspaper, worked as a printer, a riverboat pilot, and then turned to gold mining. In 1885, he triumphed as a book publisher by issuing the bestselling memoirs of former President Ulysses S. Grant, who had just died. He honed a distinctive narrative style — friendly, funny, irreverent, often satirical and always eager to deflate the pretentious. He was an unsmiling fellow; according to one legend, young Sam never saw his father laugh. Because he was sickly, Clemens was often coddled, particularly by his mother, and he developed early the tendency to test her indulgence through mischief, offering only his good nature as bond for the domestic crimes he was apt to commit. The first site evidently became Jackson’s Island in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; the second became McDougal’s Cave in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. When he … Computer scientist and engineer Mark Dean is credited with helping develop a number of landmark technologies, including the color PC monitor, the Industry Standard Architecture system bus and the first gigahertz chip. Mark Twain Biography. Occasionally, he contributed sketches and articles to the Journal. p C H A P T E R 1 I was born the 30 th of n ovember, 1835, in the almost invisible village of Florida, Missouri. Working at a printing house and part-time delivering parcels, … Biography of Mark Twain A 5-part internet biography of Twain. Writing grand tales about Sawyer, Finn and the mighty Mississippi River, Twain explored the American soul with wit, buoyancy and a sharp eye for truth. American actor Mark Hamill became famous for his role as Luke Skywalker in the epic film 'Star Wars,' as well as its sequels 'The Empire Strikes Back,' 'Return of the Jedi' and 'The Force Awakens.'. Biography takes you deep into the life of the great Mark Twain Even before that year, however, continuing debts had forced them to auction off property, to sell their only slave, Jennie, to take in boarders, even to sell their furniture. The Adventures of Mark Twain Our Stores Are Open Book Annex Membership Educators Gift Cards Stores & Events Help Auto Suggestions are available once you type at least 3 letters. Mark Twain (November 30th, 1835) grew up in Florida, MS in a family of Jane and John Clements beside many brothers and sisters. In this magisterial full-scale biography of America’s greatest storyteller and satirist, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Fred Kaplan refashions our image of Mark Twain and etches a vibrant portrait of a singular personality who created some of the … He was of Scots-Irish, English, and Cornish ancestry. At 34, this handsome, red-haired, affable, canny, egocentric and ambitious journalist and traveler had become one of the most popular and famous writers in America. Mark Twain's Short Stories and Essays. Perhaps it was a sign of the infant's rise to literary fame. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published in 1876, and soon thereafter he began writing a sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. A cholera epidemic a few years later killed at least 24 people, a substantial number for a small town.

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