Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, is perhaps America's favorite author. A quick-witted humorist who wrote travelogues, letters, speeches, and most famously the novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), Twain was so successful that he became America's biggest celebrity by the end of the 19th century. Despite writing biting satires, he managed to befriend everyone from presidents to European royalty.
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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, prominently known by his penname Mark Twain, was a famous American author and humorist. His most famous works, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, and its sequel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, the latter being called “The Great American Novel”. Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for “Huck Finn” and “Tom Sawyer”. He worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his brother’s newspaper Orion Clemens, prior to which he did apprenticeship with a printer. He later worked as a pilot of a riverboat before he moved west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. His humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, published in 1865 and based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp California, where he had spent time as a miner, brought international fame and attention and was even translated to Classic Greek. He was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty. The wit and satire of Twain, both in prose and speech, earned praise from critics and peers. Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, though he lost most of it by investing in ventures, notably the Paige Compositor. The failure of this mechanical typesetter was attributed to its complexity and imprecision. These financial difficulties led him to seek protection from his creditors via bankruptcy and succeeded in overcoming his financial problems with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers. A gentleman by nature, Twain decided to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, though he had no legal responsibility to do so. Twain was born shortly after the visit of Halley’s Comet, and he predicted that he would “go out with it”, too. He died the day after the comet returned. 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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