Twain; the humorist steamboatman and the controversial author.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on November 30th,1835. He was one of the 3 children out of 7 who survived sickness during childhood. When he was 4 years old his family moved to Hannibal, a port town on the Mississippi River, the inspiration behind St. Petersburg in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. At 12 years old, a year after his father died, Samuel left school and started working as a printer’s apprentice. Three years later he took the role of a typesetter and wrote articles & sketches for the Hannibal Journal. At 18 he left this role and worked as a printer in various cities. At 21 he managed to fulfill his dream of becoming a steamboatman, for him the best role he ever had, but this didn’t last long as the service was cut short by the outbreak of Civil War. From this role he also got his pen name “mark twain” (had others before) which is the leadsman cry for a measured river depth of 12 feet i.e. safe water for a steamboat. Twain loved science and became close to inventor Nikola Testa. He even patented 3 inventions including a history trivia game & a self-pasting scrapbook of which he sold over 25,000. In 1870 he married Olivia Langdon and together they had 4 children. He published his most famous Tom Sawyer in 1876 and its sequel Huckleberry Finn in 1884 (UK), 1885 (US). Hemingway considered the latter to be a masterpiece. Still, because of the open language, both were banned for some time from the Brooklyn Public Library. Another novel that stood out was his bitter The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894)… Twain experienced sadness through poverty, elation through short-lived luxury, depression due to the death of 3 of his children and wife, and fame through what he wrote until he died on April 21, 1910 at age 74. Considered by many, including Faulkner, as the father of American Literature, he will surely remain one of those who will never be forgotten.



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