Mark Twain


Mark Twain (1835-1910), born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was an American author and humorist, widely considered one of the greatest writers in American literature. His wit and satire, in prose and speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

Early Life: Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. He grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for his iconic novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Twain left school after the fifth grade to become a printer’s apprentice and later worked as a typesetter for the Hannibal Journal, a newspaper owned by his brother Orion.

Career: Twain’s literary career began as a journalist, but he found his voice in humor and satire. His first notable success was “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” published in 1865. He went on to write numerous classic novels, travel books, and essays, many of which have become staples of American literature. His keen observations of human nature and the social injustices of his time remain poignant and relevant.

Major Works: Among Twain’s most famous works are “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (1876), “The Prince and the Pauper” (1881), “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1884), and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” (1889). “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is often regarded as the Great American Novel, capturing the complexities of pre-Civil War society and race relations in the United States.

Legacy: Mark Twain’s legacy extends beyond his literary contributions; he was also a keen observer of human behavior, an outspoken critic of imperialism, and a staunch advocate for civil rights. His works have influenced generations of writers and continue to be studied and enjoyed worldwide.


Major Novels:

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
  • The Prince and the Pauper (1881)
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
  • The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894)
  • The American Claimant (1892)

Short Stories and Essays:

  • The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1865)
  • The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg (1899)
  • The War Prayer (1905, posthumous)

Travel Books:

  • The Innocents Abroad (1869)
  • Roughing It (1872)
  • Life on the Mississippi (1883)
  • Following the Equator (1897)
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