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Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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Author Biography

Mark Twain is a pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910).

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 sensations.

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 is Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a novel set in the South before the Civil War that criticizes racism by focusing on mistaken racial identities. More... (Garth Woodside Mansion; )

Websites about Mark Twain

Websites about Hannibal, Missouri

  • 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; )

Other resources

 Websites about Mark Twain
 Websites about Hannibal, MO
 Other Resources
About this Novel
 History of this Novel
 Websites about this Novel
 Lesson Plans etc.
 Study Guides
Mark Twain at Urban Dreams
 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
 Adventures of Tom Sawyer
 Life on the Mississippi
 Puddin'head Wilson

Book Cover

Urban Dreams Project
Core Literature
Grade Level: 9th

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain

First Published: 1876

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