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Mark Twain's Library of Humor

Written by Washington Irving
Series edited by Steve Martin
Edited by Mark Twain
Illustrated by E.W. Kemble
Introduction by Roy Blount, Jr.

Mark Twain's Library of Humor
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Category: Literary Criticism - Humor; Literary Collections - Essays; Humor - Form - Essays
Imprint: Modern Library
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: May 2000
Price: $19.00
Can. Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-64036-3 (0-679-64036-3)
Pages: 608

Beginning with the piece that made Mark Twain famous--"The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"--and ending with his fanciful "How I Edited an Agricultural Paper," this treasure trove of an anthology, an abridgment of the 1888 original, collects twenty of Twain's own pieces, in addition to tall tales, fables, and satires by forty-three of Twain's contemporaries, including Washington Irving, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ambrose Bierce, William Dean Howells, Joel Chandler Harris, Artemus Ward, and Bret Harte.

"Old pieces of humor are like antique toys: Some of them still work and some don't, but they all have a certain fascination. Especially if we know that they worked for Mark Twain. And when you find one that does still work after, say, a century and a half, if you are like me you say things like 'Look at that workmanship' to cover your wonderment at sharing inner-child glee with someone who was in the grave when your grandmother was born. To my surprise, I feel that way about a good many pieces in this book."        
--from the Introduction by Roy Blount, Jr.


The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County  Mark Twain
Warm Hair  Mark Twain
A Fight with a Trout  Charles Dudley Warner
The Villager and the Snake  George Thomas Lanigan
How We Astonished the Rivermouthians  Thomas Bailey Aldrich
The Legend of Mimir  Robert Jones Burdette
Tushmaker's Toothpuller  John Phoenix
The Tomb of Adam  Mark Twain
Rev. Cream Cheese and the New Livery, etc.  George William Curtis
Carrie's Comedy  William Livingstone Alden
To Correspondents  Josh Billings
The Worst Man and the Stupidest Man in Turkey  Samuel S. Cox
First-Class Snake Stories
His First Day at Editing  Eugene Field
Abelard and Heloise  Mark Twain
A Family Horse  F. W. Cozzens
A Genuine Mexican Plug  Mark Twain
A Visit to Brigham Young  Artemus Ward
The Simple Story of G. Washington  Robert J. Burdette
The Courtin'  James Russell Lowell
'Tis Only My Husband  Joseph C. Neal
A Day's Work  Mark Twain
Trying to Understand a Woman  W. D. Howells
A Female Base-Ball Club  James M. Bailey
Woman  Josh Billings
The Robin and the Woodpecker  Ambrose Bierce
The Tar Baby  Uncle Remus
Dick Baker's Cat  Mark Twain
The Haunted Room  R. J. Burdette
A Restless Night  Mark Twain
Rip Van Winkle  Washington Irving
The Ostrich and the Hen  Geo. T. Lanigan
Women's Rights  Artemus Ward
Nothing to Wear  William Allen Butler
Illustrated Newspapers  John Phoenix
Jack Downing in Portland  Seba Smith
A Dose of Pain Killer  Mark Twain
Fables of the Hodja  Samuel S. Cox
The Dog and the Bees  Ambrose Bierce
Sicily Burns's Wedding  George W. Harris
Ballad of the Rhine  Hans Breitmann
The Expensive Treat of Col. Moses Grice  Richard Malcolm Johnston
One of Mr. Ward's Business Letters  Artemus Ward
Woman Suffrage  R. J. Burdette
On "Forts"  Artemus Ward
The Fox and the Crow  Geo. T. Lanigan
European Diet  Mark Twain
The Vacation of Mustapha  R. J. Burdette
The First Piano in a Mining Camp  Sam Davis
Darius Green and His Flying Machine  J. T. Trowbridge
Plumbers  Charles Dudley Warner
The Remarkable Wreck of the "Thomas Hyke"  Frank R. Stockton
Experience of the McWilliamses with Membraneous Croup  Mark Twain
The Hodja's Donkey on His Veracity  S. S. Cox
Little Breeches  John Hay
Love's Young Dream  W. D. Howells
The Belle of Vallejo  W. L. Alden
Kitty Answers  W. D. Howells
Fourth of July Oration  Artemus Ward
The Parson's Horse-Race  Harriet Beecher Stowe
Wrecked in Port  R. J. Burdette
A Pleasure Exertion  Marietta Holley
The Ant and the Grain of Corn  Ambrose Bierce
The Man and the Goose  Ambrose Bierce
Nevada Nabobs in New York  Mark Twain
A Jersey Centenarian  Bret Harte
Phoenix at Sea  John Phoenix
A Victim of Hospitality  Rev. F. W. Shelton
The Donation Party  R. J. Burdette
The Peterkins Decide to Learn the Languages  Lucretia Peabody Hale
A Fatal Thirst  Bill Nye
Mrs. Brown's Fate
Captain Ben's Choice  Mrs. Francis Lee Pratt
The Mackrel  Josh Billings
A Quick Eye for Business
The Owl-Critic  Jas. T. Fields
The Kind-Hearted She-Elephant  Geo. T. Lanigan
A Dog in Church  Mark Twain
A Visit to the Asylum for Aged and Decayed Punsters  Oliver Wendell Holmes
Minnesota Wheat
Getting a Glass of Water  F. W. Cozzens
The Hodja as a Prophet  S. S. Cox
Blue-Jays  Mark Twain
An Italian's View of a New England Winter  J. M. Bailey
The Nobleman and the Oyster  Ambrose Bierce
Custom House Morals  W. D. Howells
A Western Reminiscence
The Total Depravity of Inanimate Things  Katherine Kent Child Walker
Oon Criteek de Bernhardt  Eugene Field
Lectures on Astronomy  John Phoenix
Little Charles and the Fruit
Our Italian Guide  Mark Twain
She Had to Take Her Things Along  Robert J. Burdette
The Garden and its Enemies  Charles Dudley Warner
The Hodja Makes Up His Mind to Marry  S. S. Cox
The Old Settler  Edward Harold Mott
Boy the Destroyer  Charles Dudley Warner
The Type-Writer  Robert J. Burdette
High-Handed Outrage at Utica  Artemus Ward
At Niagara  W. D. Howells
A New System of English Grammar  John Phoenix
In Sis's Interest
The Deacon's Masterpiece  O. W. Holmes
"Not Like in Like, but Like in Difference"  R. J. Burdette
Lost in the Snow  Mark Twain
Uncle Joshua Downing in Boston  Seba Smith
John Phoenix Renders the Editor of the "San Diego Herald" an Account of His Stewardship  John Phoenix
Economical Indeed
Hans Breitmann's Party  Hans Breitmann
A New Patent Medicine Operation  Q. K. Philander
The Centipede and the Barbaric Yak  G. T. Lanigan
The Cayote  Mark Twain
The Hodja's House  S. S. Cox
The Boy and the Tortoise  Ambrose Bierce
The Friend of My Youth  T. B. Aldrich
The Camel and the Zebra  Ambrose Bierce
"Success with Small Fruits"  R. J. Burdette
Natral and Unnatral Aristokrats  Josh Billings
Examples of Turkish Justice  S. S. Cox
A Great Fit  Orpheus C. Kerr
Artemus Ward and the Prince of Wales  Artemus Ward
Brilliant Drunkards  Charles Dudley Warner
Train Manners  R. J. Burdette
Their First Quarrel  W. D. Howells
The Neat Person  Josh Billings
Railway Volapük  R. J. Burdette
Simon Suggs Gets a "Soft Snap" on His Daddy  Johnson J. Hooper
Found  Josh Billings
Colonel Sellers at Home  Mark Twain
Interview with President Lincoln  Artemus Ward
The Alarmed Skipper  J. T. Fields
How I Killed a Bear  Charles Dudley Warner
The Grasshopper and the Ant  G. T. Lanigan
A Sleeping-Car Experience  Bret Harte
The Shopper  R. J. Burdette
The Bumble Bee  Josh Billings
Another Chance for Sorosis  R. J. Burdette
After the Funeral  J. M. Bailey
Cannibalism in the Cars  Mark Twain
Pie  Charles Dudley Warner
Butterwick's Little Gas Bill  Anonymous
Pistol Shooting--A Counter Challenge  John Phoenix
Boston  Artemus Ward
Sewing-Machine--Feline Attachment  John Phoenix
The Merchant of Venice and The Good Samaritan  G. T. Lanigan
Preaching v. Practice  R. J. Burdette
The Society Upon the Stanislaus  Bret Harte
What He Wanted It For  J. M. Bailey
Ants, Etc.  Josh Billings
The Romance of the Carpet  R. J. Burdette
Mr. Simpkins's Downfall  W. L. Alden
Mr. Rabbit Grossly Deceives Mr. Fox  Uncle Remus
How I Edited an Agricultural Paper  Mark Twain


Mark Twain (1835-1910) was born Samuel Clemens in Missouri. As a boy, he worked as a printer and a Mississippi River pilot. A leading literary influence in his own time and ever since, he is the author of many classics, including Roughing It, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.