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Mark Twain is a pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne
Born in Florida, Missouri, Clemens moved
with his family to Hannibal, Missouri, a port on the Mississippi
River, when he was four years old. In 1851 he began setting
type for and contributing sketches to his brother Orion's
Hannibal Journal. Later, Clemens was a steamboat pilot on
the Mississippi River until the American Civil War (1861-1865).
In 1862 he became a reporter on the Territorial Enterprise
in Virginia City, Nevada, and in 1863 he began signing his
articles with the pseudonym Mark Twain, a Mississippi River
phrase meaning "two fathoms deep." In 1865 Twain
published "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"
and within months the author and the story had become national
Much of Twain's best work was written in the 1870s and 1880s.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) celebrates boyhood in
a town on the Mississippi River; The Prince and the Pauper
(1882), a children's book, focuses on switched identities
in Tudor England; and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's
Court (1889) satirizes oppression in feudal England (see Feudalism).
One of Twain's most significant works of the 1890s and 1900s
Wilson (1894), a novel set in the South before the
Civil War that criticizes racism by focusing on mistaken racial
(Garth Woodside Mansion; )
Twain's Hannibal by Jan Wood and Norma Thiese
Students locate and analyze resources relating to the influences
that growing up around Hannibal had on Twain's work. This
information is integrated with the reading of The Adventures
of Huckleberry Finn. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/99/twain/intro.html
(Library of Congress, 1999; )
The Mark Twain Papers & Project - Bancroft Library,