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Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, led one of the most exciting of literary lives. Raised in the river town of Hannibal, Missouri, Twain had to leave school at age 12 and was successively a journeyman printer, a steamboat pilot, a halfhearted...read more
Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, led one of the most exciting of literary lives. Raised in the river town of Hannibal, Missouri, Twain had to leave school at age 12 and was successively a journeyman printer, a steamboat pilot, a halfhearted Confederate soldier, and a prospector, miner, and reporter in the western territories. His experiences furnished him with a wide knowledge of humanity, as well as with the perfect grasp of local customs and speech which manifests itself in his writing.

With the publication in 1865 of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, Twain gained national attention as a frontier humorist, and the bestselling Innocents Abroad solidified his fame. But it wasn't until Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), that he was recognized by the literary establishment as one of the greatest writers America would ever produce.

Toward the end of his life, plagued by personal tragedy and financial failure, Twain grew more and more pessimistic—an outlook not alleviated by his natural skepticism and sarcasm. Though his fame continued to widen—Yale & Oxford awarded him honorary degrees—Twain spent his last years in gloom and exasperation, writing fables about "the damned human race."

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The Innocents Abroad

or, The New Pilgrims' Progress

Written by Mark Twain
Introduction by Jane Jacobs

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Mark Twain's Library of Humor

Written by Mark Twain
Illustrated by E.W. Kemble
Introduction by Roy Blount Jr.

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A Tramp Abroad

Written by Mark Twain
Introduction by Dave Eggers

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The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

And Other Short Works

Written by Mark Twain

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American 19th Century Literature

Complete Stories; The Golden Bowl; Moby-Dick; Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn; The Age of Innocence

Written by Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, Herman Melville, Mark Twain and Edith Wharton


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