The Life of Samuel Clemens A.K.A. Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens is better known as Mark Twain, the distinguished novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist, and literary critic who ranks among the great figures of American Literature.
Twain was born in Florida Missouri, in 1835, To John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampton. As a new born Twain already had moved four times westward. In 1839 the family moved again, this time eastward to Hannibal, Missouri. Hannibal was a frontier town of less than 500 residents.
As small as the town was it offered valuable materials and opportunities for a young writer. Most of the residents knew Samuel well, considering they were on the lower half of the social scale, such as poor whites and slaves.
The town of Hannibal was mostly used for farmers coming in from the countryside. It was also a river town, swamped with travelers moving up stream and down stream. Some of the travelers were steamboat men, circus performers, minstrel companies, and showboat actors.
Since all this action was going on all the time, that opened a big door to the beginning of Samuel’s stories. It provided a huge source of literary material.
Shortly after the death of his father in 1847, he ended the brief period of his schooling to become a printer’s apprentice. Like many nineteenth century authors, he was preparing for his writing career later in life. Working as a Printer’s apprentice he got practice as a typesetter and miscellaneous reading. The first thing Samuel wrote as a used piece was a few skits for his brothers Orion’s Hannibal newspaper and a sketch, for The Dandy Frightening The Squatter, published in Boston in 1852. The first real book ever published by Mark Twain was Life on the Mississippi River.
Between 1853 and 1857 Clemens worked a journeyman printer in seven different places. During this trip of making sketches and writing stories, he began eastward by boat. Twain started writing letters telling about his visits to New York and the Middle West in 1867. On his trip he seemed to have gotten him self in a lot a trouble such as disorderly conduct.
After time passed Mark kept writing short stories here and there and a few sketches also. However, in 1869 he became part owner of the Buffalo Express. In 1870 Mark met the girl of his dreams and Olivia Langdon and Samuel Clemens were married in late 1870 in Elmira, New York. In 1884 Mark Twain wrote one of his most popular stories Called The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn.
Although Clemens had a remarkable financial success with all of the books he had wrote, he found himself bankrupt by 1894. After the death of his daughter in 1896 and his wife in 1904 he became incredibly bitter and needed to express his feelings in some way so he wrote a book called The Mysterious Stranger
In Twain’s later years he did not write as much but began doing more public appearances. Twain spent the last three years of his life finishing his autobiography, including stories from his life and the death of his beloved wife and daughter Four months after finishing the book, on the evening of April 10,1910,Twain flipped through one of his books and said goodbye to his doctor waiting at his bedside. That evening Twain passed away leaving the world with only the memory of him through his writing
Samuel Clemens or you could say Mark Twain still lives on in reader’s hearts and minds everywhere.
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Jones, Marvy. Famous Authors From The 18th Century. St Louis, MO: Randler Publishing, 1984
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Lewis, Julie. The Life of Mark Twain. New York, NY: River House
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