Interior: Tom & Huck
Mark Twain Synopsis Breviate
Mark Twain, aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was born in Missouri in 1835. By age 16, he was contributing stories to his brother Orion’s newspaper. He also worked as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River, until the outbreak of the Civil War. He moved to Nevada and became a newspaper reporter, and in 1863, he began signing his stories Mark Twain, a Mississippi River phrase meaning two fathoms deep. In 1865 he published a popular short story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras Count, making him a national sensation. However, Twain’s best work came in the 1870s and 1880s, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), The Prince and the Pauper (1882), his masterpiece The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889). Twain’s distinctly American themes, settings and colloquialisms shifted attention away from New England and European authors, and a new and unique literary vernacular was born. His writings had a powerful effect on later American writers such as Hemingway and Faulkner. Mark Twain died in 1910.