From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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).
* 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
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.