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Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),[1] better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885),[2] the latter often called "the Great American Novel." Asus A42-A3 Battery

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper.  Sony VGN-NS21Z/S battery

After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. Asus K50AB battery

While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", which became very popular and brought nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well-received. Twain had found his calling.  Asus X52DE battery.

 

He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

He lacked financial acumen, and, though he made a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he squandered it on various ventures, in particular the Paige Compositor, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. Sony vaio VPCYA15FG/B battery.

With the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers he eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain worked hard to ensure that all of his creditors were paid in full, even though his bankruptcy had relieved him of the legal responsibility. Sony vaio VPCYA15FG battery.

 

Twain was born during a visit by Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it" as well. He died the day following the comet's subsequent return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age,"[3] and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature."[4] Asus K50IP battery.

 

Early life

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 Clemens (1798–1847), a Virginian by birth.  Asus A52JB battery.

His parents met when his father moved to Missouri and were married several years later, in 1823.[5][6] He was the sixth of seven children but only three of his siblings survived childhood: his brother Orion (1825–1897), Henry, who died in a riverboat explosion (1838–1858), and Pamela (1827–1904). Asus K70AB battery.

 

His sister Margaret (1833–1839) died when he was three, and his brother Benjamin (1832–1842) died three years later. Another brother, Pleasant (1828–1829), died at six months.[7] Twain was born two weeks after the closest approach to Earth of Halley's Comet. Asus X5DIN battery.

 

When he was four, Twain's family moved to Hannibal, Missouri,[8] a port town on the Mississippi River that inspired the fictional town of St. Petersburg in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.[9] Dell Latitude D505 Battery

Missouri was a slave state and young Twain became familiar with the institution of slavery, a theme he would later explore in his writing. Twain's father was an attorney and judge.[10] The Hannibal and St. Dell LATITUDE D505 SERIES Battery

Joseph Railroad was organized in his office in 1846. The railroad connected the second and third largest cities in the state and was the westernmost United States railroad until the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. It delivered mail to and from the Pony Express.[11] Dell Latitude D510 Series Battery

 

In 1847, when Twain was 11, his father died of pneumonia.[12] 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 Hannibal Journal, a newspaper owned by his brother Orion. Dell LATITUDE D600 SERIES Battery

When he was 18, he left Hannibal and worked as a printer in New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. He joined the newly formed International Typographical Union, the printers union and educated himself in public libraries in the evenings, finding wider information than at a conventional school.[13] Dell Latitude D610 Series Battery

Clemens came from St. Louis on the packet Keokuk in 1854,[14] and lived in Muscatine during part of the summer of 1855. The Muscatine newspaper published eight stories which amounted to almost 6,000 words.[15] Dell Latitude D620 Battery

 

On a voyage to New Orleans down the Mississippi, steamboat pilot Horace E. Bixby inspired Twain to become a pilot himself. As Twain observed in Life on the Mississippi, the pilot surpassed a steamboat's captain in prestige and authority; it was a rewarding occupation with wages set at $250 per month.[16] Dell LATITUDE D800 SERIES Battery

A steamboat pilot needed to know the ever-changing river to be able to stop at the hundreds of ports and wood-lots. Twain studied 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of the Mississippi for more than two years before he received his steamboat pilot license in 1859. Dell LATITUDE LS 400 Battery

This occupation gave him his pen name, Mark Twain, from "mark twain," the cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms. While training, Samuel convinced his younger brother Henry to work with him. Dell LATITUDE LS SERIES Battery

Henry was killed on June 21, 1858, when the steamboat he was working on, the Pennsylvania, exploded. Twain had foreseen this death in a dream a month earlier,[17] which inspired his interest in parapsychology; he was an early member of the Society for Psychical Research.[18] Dell Latitude LSH Battery

Twain was guilt-stricken and held himself responsible for the rest of his life. He 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. Dell LATITUDE LST Battery

 

During the Civil War, Missouri was considered by many to be part of the South and was represented in both the Confederate and Federal governments. Twain wrote a sketch, "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed," which claimed he and his friends had been Confederate volunteers for two weeks before disbanding their company.[19] Dell LATITUDE PP01 Battery

 

Travels

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, visiting the Mormon community in Salt Lake City. Dell LATITUDE PP01L Battery

The experiences inspired Roughing It and provided material for The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Twain's journey ended in the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nevada, where he became a miner.[19] Dell LATITUDE PP01X Battery

Twain failed as a miner and worked at a Virginia City newspaper, the Territorial Enterprise.[20] Here he first used his pen name. On February 3, 1863, he signed a humorous travel account "Letter From Carson – re: Joe Goodman; party at Gov. Johnson's; music" with "Mark Twain."[21] Dell LATITUDE PPL Battery

 

Twain moved to San Francisco, California in 1864, still as a journalist. He met writers such as Bret Harte, Artemus Ward, and Dan DeQuille. The young poet Ina Coolbrith may have romanced him.[22] Dell LATITUDE PPX Battery

 

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 brought him national attention. Dell Latitude X1 Battery

A year later, he traveled to the Sandwich Islands (present-day Hawaii) as a reporter for the Sacramento Union. His travelogues were popular and became the basis for his first lectures.[23] Dell LATITUDE X200 Battery

 

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 in 1869. Dell LATITUDE X300 Battery

It was on this trip that he met his future brother-in-law, Charles Langdon. Both were passengers aboard the Quaker City on their way to the Holy Land. Langdon showed a picture of his sister Olivia to Twain; Twain claimed to have fallen in love at first sight. Dell LATITUDE X300 SERIES Battery

 

Upon returning to the United States, Twain was offered honorary membership in the secret society Scroll and Key of Yale University in 1868.[24] Its devotion to "fellowship, moral and literary self-improvement, and charity" suited him well. Dell M170 Battery

 

Marriage and children

Throughout 1868, Twain and Olivia Langdon corresponded but she rejected his first marriage proposal. Two months later, they were engaged. In February 1870, Twain and Langdon were married in Elmira, New York,[23] Dell PRCISION M60 MOBILE WORKSTATION Battery

where he had courted her. She came from a "wealthy but liberal family," and through her he met abolitionists, "socialists, principled atheists and activists for women's rights and social equality, Dell Precision M Series Battery

" including Harriet Beecher Stowe (his next-door neighbor in Hartford, Connecticut), Frederick Douglass, and the writer and utopian socialist William Dean Howells,[25] who became a long-time friend. The couple lived in Buffalo, New York from 1869 to 1871. Dell Precision M20 Series Battery

Twain owned a stake in the Buffalo Express newspaper and worked as an editor and writer. While living in Buffalo, their son Langdon died of diphtheria at 19 months. Dell PRECISION M40 Battery

They had three daughters: Susy (1872–1896), Clara (1874–1962)[26] and Jean (1880–1909). The couple's marriage lasted 34 years, until Olivia's death in 1904. All of the Clemens family are buried in Elmira's Woodlawn Cemetery. Dell PRECISION M50 Battery

 

Twain moved his family to Hartford, Connecticut, where starting in 1873, he arranged the building of a home (local admirers saved it from demolition in 1927 and eventually turned it into a museum focused on him). Dell Precision M90 SERIES Battery

In the 1870s and 1880s, Twain and his family summered at Quarry Farm, the home of Olivia's sister, Susan Crane.[27][28] In 1874,[27] Susan had a study built apart from the main house so that her brother-in-law would have a quiet place in which to write. Dell Precision Mobile Workstation M20 Battery

Also, Twain smoked pipes constantly, and Susan Crane did not wish him to do so in her house. During his seventeen years in Hartford (1874–1891) and over twenty summers at Quarry Farm, Dell PRECISION WORKSTATION M50 Battery

Twain wrote many of his classic novels, among them The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), The Prince and the Pauper (1881), Life on the Mississippi (1883), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885) and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889). Dell SMART PC100N Battery

 

Twain made a second tour of Europe, described in the 1880 book A Tramp Abroad. His tour included a stay in Heidelberg from May 6 until July 23, 1878, and a visit to London. Dell Vostro 1400 Battery

 

Love of science and technology

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 Tesla's laboratory. Dell Vostro 1500 Battery

 

Twain patented three inventions, including an "Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments" (to replace suspenders) and a history trivia game.[29] Most commercially successful was a self-pasting scrapbook; a dried adhesive on the pages only needed to be moistened before use. Dell Vostro 1700 Battery

 

His book A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court features a time traveler from contemporary America, using his knowledge of science to introduce modern technology to Arthurian England. This type of storyline would later become a common feature of a science fiction sub-genre, alternate history. Dell Winbook N4 Battery

 

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. Dell XPS GEN 2 Battery

 

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 machine. Dell XPS M1210 Battery

It was a beautifully engineered mechanical marvel that amazed viewers when it worked, but was prone to breakdowns. Twain spent $300,000 (equal to $8,058,462 today[30]) on it between 1880 and 1894,[31] Dell XPS M1330 Battery

but before it could be perfected, it was made obsolete by the Linotype. He lost not only the bulk of his book profits but also a substantial portion of his wife's inheritance.[32] Dell XPS M170 Battery

 

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 hundred copies were sold.[32] Dell XPS M1710 SERIES Battery

 

Twain's writings and lectures, combined with the help of a new friend, enabled him to recover financially.[33] In 1893, he began a 15-year-long friendship with financier Henry Huttleston Rogers, a principal of Standard Oil. Rogers first made Twain file for bankruptcy. Dell XPS M1530 Battery Battery

Then Rogers had Twain transfer the copyrights on his written works to his wife, Olivia, to prevent creditors from gaining possession of them. Finally, Rogers took absolute charge of Twain's money until all the creditors were paid. Dell Inspiron 1525 Battery Battery

 

Twain embarked on a year-long, around-the-world lecture tour in July 1895[34] to pay off his creditors in full, although he was no longer under any legal obligation to do so.[35] Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

It would be a long, arduous journey and he was sick much of the time, mostly from a cold and a carbuncle. The itinerary took him to Hawaii, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, India, Mauritius, South Africa and England. Twain's three months in India became the centerpiece of his 712-page book Following the Equator. Sony VGP-BPS8A Battery

 

In mid-1900, he was the guest of newspaper proprietor Hugh Gilzean-Reid at Dollis Hill House. Twain wrote of Dollis Hill that he had "never seen any place that was so satisfactorily situated, with its noble trees and stretch of country, Sony VGP-BPS8B Battery

and everything that went to make life delightful, and all within a biscuit's throw of the metropolis of the world."[36] He then returned to America in 1900, having earned enough to pay off his debts. Sony VGP-BPL8 Battery

 

Speaking engagements

Twain was in demand as a featured speaker, performing solo humorous talks similar to what would become stand-up comedy.[37] He gave paid talks to many men's clubs, including the Authors' Club, Beefsteak Club, Vagabonds, White Friars, Sony VGP-BPL8A Battery

and Monday Evening Club of Hartford. He was made an honorary member of the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. In the late 1890s, he spoke to the Savage Club in London and was elected honorary member. SONY VGP-BPS9 Battery

When told that only three men had been so honored, including the Prince of Wales, he replied "Well, it must make the Prince feel mighty fine."[38] In 1897, Twain spoke to the Concordia Press Club in Vienna as a special guest, following diplomat Charlemagne Tower, Jr.. SONY VGP-BPS9/S Battery

In German, to the great amusement of the assemblage, Twain delivered the speech "Die Schrecken der deutschen Sprache" ("The Horrors of the German Language").[39] SONY VGP-BPS9A/S Battery

 

Later life and death

Twain passed through a period of deep depression, which 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.[40] SONY VGP-BPS9/B Battery

On May 20, 1909, his close friend Henry Rogers died suddenly. In 1906, Twain began his autobiography in the North American Review. In April, Twain heard that his friend Ina Coolbrith had lost nearly all she owned in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, SONY VGP-BPS9A/B Battery

and he volunteered a few autographed portrait photographs to be sold for her benefit. To further aid Coolbrith, George Wharton James visited Twain in New York and arranged for a new portrait session. Initially resistant, Twain admitted that four of the resulting images were the finest ones ever taken of him.[41] SONY VGP-BPS9A Battery

Twain formed a club in 1906 for girls he viewed as surrogate granddaughters, the Angel Fish and Aquarium Club. SONY VGP-BPS9B Battery

The dozen or so members ranged in age from 10 to 16. Twain exchanged letters with his "Angel Fish" girls and invited them to concerts and the theatre and to play games. Twain wrote in 1908 that the club was his "life's chief delight."[42] SONY VGP-BPS10 Battery

 

"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 here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together."SONY VGP-BPL9C Battery

 

His prediction was accurate – Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut, one day after the comet's closest approach to Earth.

Upon hearing of Twain's death, President William Howard Taft said:[44][45] SONY VGP-BPL9 Battery

 

"Mark Twain gave pleasure – real intellectual enjoyment – to millions, and his works will continue to give such pleasure to millions yet to come... Sony VGP-BPS12 Battery

His humor was American, but he was nearly as much appreciated by Englishmen and people of other countries as by his own countrymen. He has made an enduring part of American literature." Sony VGP-BPL12 Battery

 

Twain's funeral was at the "Old Brick" Presbyterian Church in New York.[46] He is buried in his wife's family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, New York. His grave is marked by a 12-foot (i.e., two fathoms, or "mark twain") monument, placed there by his surviving daughter, Clara.[47] There is also a smaller headstone. Sony VGP-BPS12/Q Battery

 

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 rich humor, sturdy narrative and social criticism. Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery

Twain was a master at rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularize a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language. Many of Twain's works have been suppressed at times for various reasons. Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been repeatedly restricted in American high schools, not least for its frequent use of the word "nigger," which was in common usage in the pre-Civil War period in which the novel was set. Sony VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

 

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 use of several different pen names. Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Additionally, a large portion of his speeches and lectures have been lost or were not written down; thus, the collection of Twain's works is an ongoing process. Researchers rediscovered published material by Twain as recently as 1995.[32] Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery

 

Early journalism and travelogues

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. Sony VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery

"[48]:51 He credited Fitch with giving him his "first really profitable lesson" in writing. In 1866, Clemens presented his lecture on the Sandwich Islands to a crowd in Washoe City, Nevada.[49] Sony VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

Clemens commented that, "When I first began to lecture, and in my earlier writings, my sole idea was to make comic capital out of everything I saw and heard." Fitch told him, "Clemens, your lecture was magnificent. Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery

It was eloquent, moving, sincere. Never in my entire life have I listened to such a magnificent piece of descriptive narration. But you committed one unpardonable sin—the unpardonable sin. Sony VGP-BPS13B/S Battery

It is a sin you must never commit again. You closed a most eloquent description, by which you had keyed your audience up to a pitch of the intensest interest, Sony VGP-BPS13A Battery

with a piece of atrocious anti-climax which nullified all the really fine effect you had produced."[50] It was in these days that Twain became a writer of the Sagebrush School, and was known later as the most notable within this literary genre.[51] Sony VGP-BPS13B Battery

 

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 story arrived too late to be included in a book Artemus Ward was compiling featuring sketches of the wild American West. Sony VGP-BPS14/B Battery

 

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 time as the Sandwich Islands. Sony VGP-BPS14B Battery

These humorous letters proved the genesis to his work with the San Francisco Alta California newspaper, which designated him a traveling correspondent for a trip from San Francisco to New York City via the Panama isthmus. Sony VGP-BPS14/S Battery

All the while, Twain was writing letters meant for publishing back and forth, chronicling his experiences with his burlesque humor. On June 8, 1867, Twain set sail on the pleasure cruiser Quaker City for five months. This trip resulted in The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrims' Progress. Sony VGP-BPL14/B Battery

 

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 to works of that kind, and withal so attractive. Yet not withstanding it is only a record of a picnic, it has a purpose, Sony VGP-BPL14 Battery

which is, to suggest to the reader how he would be likely to see Europe and the East if he looked at them with his own eyes instead of the eyes of those who traveled in those countries before him. Sony VGP-BPL14B Battery

I make small pretense of showing anyone how he ought to look at objects of interest beyond the sea – other books do that, and therefore, even if I were competent to do it, there is no need. Sony VGP-BPL14/S Battery

 

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 to Nevada and his subsequent life in the American West. Sony VGP-BPS14 Battery

The book lampoons American and Western society in the same way that Innocents critiqued the various countries of Europe and the Middle East. Twain's next work kept Roughing It's focus on American society but focused more on the events of the day. Entitled The Gilded Age: Sony VGP-BPL15/B Battery

 A Tale of Today, it was not a travel piece, as his previous two books had been, and it was his first attempt at writing a novel. The book is also notable because it is Twain's only collaboration; it was written with his neighbor Charles Dudley Warner. Sony VGP-BPS15/B Battery

 

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 Romanticism.[52] Old Times eventually became the starting point for Life on the Mississippi. Sony VGP-BPL15/S Battery

 

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

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. Sony VGP-BPS15/S Battery

The book also introduced in a supporting role Huckleberry Finn, based on Twain's boyhood friend Tom Blankenship. Sony VGP-BPS15 Battery

 

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 physically identical, the book acts as a social commentary as the prince and pauper switch places. Sony VGP-BPL15 Battery

Pauper was Twain's first attempt at historical fiction, and blame for its shortcomings is usually put on Twain for having not been experienced enough in English society, and also on the fact that it was produced after a massive hit. Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

In between the writing of Pauper, Twain had started Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which he consistently had problems completing[53]) and started and completed another travel book, A Tramp Abroad, which follows Twain as he traveled through central and southern Europe. Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery

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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 reading in many schools throughout the United States. Sony VGP-BPS22 Battery

Huckleberry Finnwas an offshoot from Tom Sawyer and had a more serious tone than its predecessor. The main premise behind Huckleberry Finn is the young boy's belief in the right thing to do though most believed that it was wrong. Sony VGP-BPS22A Battery

Four hundred manuscript pages of Huckleberry Finn were written in mid-1876, right after the publication of Tom Sawyer. Some accounts have Twain taking seven years off after his first burst of creativity, eventually finishing the book in 1883. Sony PCG-5G2L Battery

Other accounts have Twain working on Huckleberry Finn in tandem with The Prince and the Pauper and other works in 1880 and other years. The last fifth of Huckleberry Finn is subject to much controversy. Some say that Twain experienced, as critic Leo Marx puts it, a "failure of nerve." Ernest Hemingway once said of Huckleberry Finn: Sony PCG-5G3L Battery

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Later writing

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. Sony PCG-5J2L Battery

Grant's Memoirs for his fledgling publishing company, finding time in between to write "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed" for The Century Magazine. This piece detailed his two-week stint in a Confederate militia during the Civil War. Sony PCG-5K1L Battery

The name of his publishing company was Charles L. Webster & Company, which he owned with Charles L. Webster, his nephew by marriage.[55] Sony PCG-5K2L Battery

 

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 The Prince and the Pauper, Sony PCG-5L1L Battery

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A Connecticut Yankee showed the absurdities of political and social norms by setting them in the court of King Arthur. The book was started in December 1885, then shelved a few months later until the summer of 1887, and eventually finished in the spring of 1889. Sony PCG-6S3L Battery

 

Twain had begun to furiously write articles and commentary with diminishing returns to pay the bills and keep his business projects afloat, but it was not enough. He filed for bankruptcy in 1894. Sony PCG-6V1L Battery

 

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.[32] Sony PCG-6W1L Battery

Critics have pointed to this rushed completion as the cause of the novel's rough organization and constant disruption of continuous plot. There were parallels between this work and Twain's financial failings, notably his desire to escape his current constraints and become a different person. Sony PCG-6W2L Battery

 

Like The Prince and the Pauper, t

his 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, it is not surprising that these "mystic" connections recur throughout his writing. Sony PCG-6W3L Battery

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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 disputed "subtitles" make the entire title read: The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson and the Comedy of The Extraordinary Twins.[32] Sony PCG-7112L Battery

 

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 it. Sony PCG-7113L Battery

The book had been a dream of his since childhood. He claimed he had found a manuscript detailing the life of Joan of Arc when he was an adolescent.[32] This was another piece Twain was convinced would save his publishing company. Sony PCG-7133L Battery

His financial adviser, Henry Huttleston Rogers, quashed that idea and got Twain out of that business altogether, but the book was published nonetheless. Sony PCG-7Z1L Battery

 

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." Sony PCG-7Z2L Battery

He became an extremely outspoken critic not only of other authors, but also of other critics, suggesting that before praising Cooper's work, Professors Loundsbury, Brander Matthes, and Wilkie Collins "ought to have read some of it."[56] Sony PCG-8Y1L Battery

 

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.[57] In addition to providing a source for the "tooth and claw" style of literary criticism, Sony PCG-8Y2L Battery

Twain outlines in several letters and essays what he considers to be "quality writing." He places emphasis on concision, utility of word choice, and realism (he complains that Cooper's Deerslayer purports to be realistic but has several shortcomings). Sony PCG-8Z1L Battery

Ironically, several of his works were later criticized for lack of continuity (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) and organization (Pudd'nhead Wilson). Sony PCG-8Z2L Battery

 

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, had looked down upon. Sony VPCB11AGJ Battery

Of these works, The Mysterious Stranger, depicting various visits of Satan to the Earth, is perhaps the best known. This particular work was not published in Twain's lifetime. Sony VPCB11AV Battery

There were three versions found in his manuscripts made between 1897 and 1905: the Hannibal, Eseldorf, and Print Shop versions. Confusion between the versions led to an extensive publication of a jumbled version, and only recently have the original versions as Twain wrote them become available. Sony VPCB11V9E Battery

 

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 non-chronological order. Some archivists and compilers have rearranged the biography into more conventional forms, thereby eliminating some of Twain's humor and the flow of the book. Sony VPCB11X9E Battery

The first volume of autobiography, over 736 pages, was published by the University of California in November 2010, 100 years after his death as Twain wished.[58][59] It soon became an unexpected[60] best selling book,[61] making Twain one of very few authors publishing new best-selling volumes in all 3 of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Sony VPCCW12EN/BU Battery

 

Friendship with Henry H. Rogers

While Twain credited Henry H. Rogers, a Standard Oil executive, with saving him from financial ruin, their close friendship in their later years was mutually beneficial. When Twain lost three of his four children and his beloved wife, the Rogers family increasingly became a surrogate family for him. Sony VPCCW12ES/BU Battery

He became a frequent guest at their townhouse in New York City, their 48-room summer home in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, and aboard their steam yacht, the Kanawha. Sony VPCCW13EG/BU Battery

 

The two men introduced each other to their acquaintances. Twain was an admirer of the remarkable deafblind girl Helen Keller. He first met Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan at a party in the home of Laurence Hutton in New York City in the winter of 1894. Sony VPCCW13FX/R Battery

Twain introduced them to Rogers, who, with his wife, paid for Keller's education at Radcliffe College. Twain is credited with labeling Sullivan, Keller's governess and companion, a "miracle worker." Sony VPCCW152C/B Battery

His choice of words later became inspiration for the title of William Gibson's play and film adaptation, The Miracle Worker. Twain also introduced Rogers to journalist Ida M. Sony VPCCW152C/W Battery

Tarbell, who interviewed him for a muckraking expose that led indirectly to the breakup of the Standard Oil Trust. On cruises aboard the Kanawha, Twain and Rogers were joined at frequent intervals by Booker T. Washington, the famed former slave who had become a leading educator. Sony VPCCW15FA/B Battery

 

While the two famous old men were widely regarded as drinking and poker buddies, they also exchanged letters when apart, and this was often since each traveled a great deal. Unlike Rogers' personal files, which have never become public, these insightful letters were published.[62] Sony VPCCW15FA/P Battery

The written exchanges between the two men demonstrate Twain's well-known sense of humor and, more surprisingly, Rogers' sense of fun, providing a rare insight into the private side of the robber baron. Sony VPCCW15FA/W Battery

 

In April 1907, Twain and Rogers cruised to the opening of the Jamestown Exposition in Virginia. Twain's public popularity was such that many fans took boats out to the Kanawha at anchor in hopes of getting a glimpse of him. Sony VPCCW15FG/P Battery

As the gathering of boats around the yacht became a safety hazard, he finally obliged by coming on deck and waving to the crowds. Sony VPCCW15FG/B Battery

 

Because of poor weather conditions, the steam yacht was delayed for several days from venturing into the Atlantic Ocean. Rogers and some of the others in his party returned to New York by rail; Twain disliked train travel and so elected to wait and return on the Kanawha. Sony VPCCW15FG/W Battery

However, reporters lost track of his whereabouts; when he failed to return to New York City as scheduled, The New York Times speculated that he might have been "lost at sea." Upon arriving safely in New York and learning of this, Sony VPCCW15FN/R Battery

the humorist wrote a satirical article about the episode, offering to "...make an exhaustive investigation of this report that I have been lost at sea. If there is any foundation for the report, I will at once apprise the anxious public."[63] Sony VPCCW16FA/B Battery

This bore similarities to an earlier event in 1897 when he made his famous remark "The report of my death was an exaggeration," after a reporter was sent to investigate whether he had died. In fact, it was his cousin who was seriously ill.Sony VPCCW16FA/L Battery

 

Later that year, Twain and Rogers's son, Henry Jr., returned to the Jamestown Exposition aboard the Kanawha. The humorist helped host Robert Fulton Day on September 23, 1907, celebrating the centennial of Fulton's invention of the steamboat. Sony VPCCW16FA/P Battery

Twain, filling in for ailing former U.S. President Grover Cleveland, introduced Rear Admiral Purnell Harrington. Twain was met with a five-minute standing ovation; members of the audience cheered and waved their hats and umbrellas. Sony VPCCW16FA/R Battery

Deeply touched, Twain said, "When you appeal to my head, I don't feel it; but when you appeal to my heart, I do feel it."[64] Sony VPCCW16FA/W Battery

 

In April 1909, the two old friends returned to Norfolk, Virginia for the banquet in honor of Rogers and his newly completed Virginian Railway. Twain was the keynote speaker in one of his last public appearances, and was widely quoted in newspapers across the country.[65] Sony VPCCW16FG/B Battery

 

A month later, Twain was en route from Connecticut to visit his friend in New York City when Rogers died suddenly on May 20, 1909. Twain arrived at Grand Central Station to be met by his daughter with the news. Stricken with grief, he uncustomarily avoided news reporters who had gathered, saying only "This is terrible...I cannot talk about it." Sony VPCCW16FG/L Battery

Two days later, he served as an honorary pallbearer at the funeral in New York City. However, he declined to join the funeral party on the train ride for the interment at Fairhaven. He said "I cannot bear to travel with my friend and not converse." Sony VPCCW16FG/P Battery


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