Mark Twain - Mark Twain From Wikipedia the free...

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Mark Twain From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Mark Twain Enlarge Mark Twain 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. At his peak, he was probably the most popular American celebrity of his time. William Faulkner wrote he was "the first truly American writer, and all of us since are his heirs." Clemens maintained that the name "Mark Twain" came from his years on the riverboat, where two fathoms (12 ft or 3.7 m), or "safe water", was marked by calling "mark twain". But it is often thought that the name actually came from his wilder days in the West, where he would buy two drinks and tell the bartender to "mark twain" on his tab. The true origin is unknown. In addition to Mark Twain, Clemens used the pseudonym "Sieur Louis de Conte" for his fictionalized biography of Joan of Arc (1896). Contents [hide] * 1 Early life * 2 Roughing it Out West * 3 First book * 4 Career overview * 5 Later life and friendship with Henry H. Rogers * 6 Museums and attractions * 7 Mark Twain as a character * 8 Bibliography * 9 See also * 10 External links [edit] Early life Samuel Clemens was born November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri, the third of four surviving children of John and Jane Clemens. While he was still a baby, the family moved to the river town of Hannibal, Missouri, hoping their fortunes would improve there. It was this town and its inhabitants that the author Mark Twain later put to such imaginative use in his most famous works, especially The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Clemens's father died in 1847, leaving many debts. The oldest son, Orion, soon began publishing a newspaper and Sam began contributing to it as a journeyman printer and occasional writer. Some of the liveliest and most controversial stories in Orion's paper came from the pen of his younger brother--usually when Orion was out of town. Clemens also traveled to St.
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Louis and New York City to earn a living as a printer. But the lure of the Mississippi eventually drew Clemens to a career as a steamboat pilot, a profession he later claimed would have held him to the end of his days, recounting his experiences in his book Life on the Mississippi (1883). But the Civil War put an end to commercial steamboat traffic in 1861, and Clemens had to look for a new job. After a brief stint with a local militia (an experience he recounted in his short story, "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed" (1885), he escaped further contact with the war by going west in July of 1861 with Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the territorial governor of Nevada. The two traveled for two weeks across the Plains by stagecoach to the silver-mining town of Virginia City, Nevada. [edit] Roughing it Out West Twain's experiences out West formed him as a writer and became the basis of his second book, Roughing It. In Nevada, Samuel Clemens became a miner, hoping to strike it rich digging up silver in the Comstock Lode and staying for long periods in camp with his fellow prospectors--another mode of living that he later put to literary use. Failing as a miner, he fell into
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