Samuel Langhorne Clemens known by his pen name – Mark Twain was an American writer who lived through the 19th and into the 20th century. He lived and wrote through historic times witnessing the changing face of his country.
He was born on November 30,1835, in Florida, Missouri. He was the sixth of the seven children. At an early age of four, Twain with his family moved to Missouri, relatively a new state on the western border. It was a slave state and obviously his father and uncle owned many slaves. He would often spend his summers playing with the slave children in the slave quarters on his uncle’s farm. Slave spirituals and folk tales excited him a lot which he carried for his entire life. Mark Twain lost his father at a very tender age of 11 and soon left school to work as a printer’s apprentice for a local newspaper. At age 18, he was working in New York and Philadelphia with various newspapers that carried his articles. Seeking various career opportunities, he decided to travel from Missouri to Nevada in a stage coach travelling through rough and dangerous lands. Here he encountered native American tribes and a host of other interesting characters. These ups and downs in the journey added to Samuel’s writing experience.
Mark Twain broke in on the literary scene when his short story, Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog was published. Twain’s next major publication was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which portrays his youth in Hannibal. Tom Sawyer was modeled on Twain as a child, with the presence of schoolmates John Briggs and Will Bowen. The book also introduces Huckleberry Finn in a supporting role, based on Twain’s boyhood friend Tom Blankenship.
Twain had started Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and had completed his travel book A Tramp Abroad, which describes his travels through central and southern Europe.
Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, confirmed 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. These novels have been a part of my childhood too and are wonderful to read. The stories of these characters are gripping and I have spent my summers reading Mark Twain novels.
Samuel Clemens breathed his last on April 21,1910 at the age of 74. He was an astute and sensitive journalist. Mark Twain was an entertaining writer who gave pleasure to millions. “Supposing is good, but finding out is better “is what Twain would say.
Did you know that Disneyland theme park, Anaheim, California has a boat ride called as The Mark Twain Riverboat ride? On this ride, passengers have a glimpse of rivers of America around Tom Sawyers Island with a pre-recorded narration by a riverboat guide. On my visit to Anaheim, I found this riverboat ride a wonderful insight to the Twain’s American version. It truly displays the unseen glimpses of America.
You surely will love to read Mark Twain writings after you read these famous novels and I am sure you too would become a fan of this writer like me.