The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories

 
9781500740047: The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories
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“In the country neighbor­hood thereabouts, along the dusty roads, one found at intervals the prettiest little cottage homes, snug and cozy, and so cobwebbed with vines snowed thick with roses that the doors and windows were wholly hidden from sight-sign that these were deserted homes, forsaken years ago by defeated and disap­pointed families who could neither sell them nor give them away.”
--- Mark Twain, The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories

The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories (1906) is a collection of thirty comic short stories by the iconic American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The stories contained span the course of his career, from "Advice to Young Girls" in 1865 to the titular tale in 1904. Although Twain had ample time to refine his short stories between their original publication date and this collection, there is little evidence to suggest he took an active interest in doing so. "A Burlesque Biography" contains only a few minor technical revisions which make it different from the 1871 version found in Mark Twain's "(Burlesque) Autobiography and First Romance". "Advice to Little Girls" shows slight revision from its earlier publication in The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

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About the Author:

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel."

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. After an apprenticeship with a printer, he worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his singular lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. In 1865, his humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention, and was even translated into classic Greek. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

Though Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he invested in ventures that lost a great deal of money, notably the Paige Compositor, which failed because of its complexity and imprecision. In the wake of these financial setbacks, he filed for protection from his creditors via bankruptcy, and with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, though he had no legal responsibility to do so.
Twain was born shortly after a visit by Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it," too. He died the day following the comet's subsequent return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age," and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature."

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