Mark Twain
MARK TWAIN (1835-1910)
BIOGRAPHY
Perhaps America's best known literary figure, Mark Twain enjoys a popular following as much for his personality as for his books. Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, he was brought up in Hannibal where his childhood experiences provided the basis for the two masterpieces 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' and 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'. At the age of twelve the death of his father forced him to leave school and take work as a printer's apprentice to help support the family. But he quickly tired of this life and left to spend four years as a river pilot on the Mississipppi - his pen name coming from the characteristic call of a leadsman on the river. Heading west, Twain spent the Civil War adventuring in Nevada and California with spells as a miner, prospector and reporter. Fame arrived with his story 'The Celbrated Jumping Frog...' but it was an account of his travels of 1867 around France, Italy and Palestine - 'The Innocents Abroad' - that cemented his reputation and made his fortune. In 1870, he married into an old Connecticut family and settled in Hartford. His worldwide fame allowed him lucrative international lecture tours but Twain continued to write steadily for the rest of his life.
STORIES
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Deeply pessimistic tale about what in life holds value.
- Length: 3 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction
5 Stars
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The death of a exemplary servant is widely reported.
- Length: 4 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction, Humor
4 Stars
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The truth behind the celebrated war hero _____ (name withheld).
- Length: 5 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Humor
4 Stars
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Animals talk to eachother, of course. An expert tells of one particularly verbal creature.
- Length: 5 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Humor
5 Stars
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Story which promotes the argument that a pure, sober and honest man cannot compete against a prodigal son.
- Length: 6 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction
4 Stars
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The story of an enterprising gambler who finds some unusual uses for animals.
- Length: 7 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Humor
4 Stars
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Local prospectors wait expectantly for the return of Henry's wife.
- Length: 9 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction
5 Stars
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The first man on earth recalls the early years.
- Length: 10 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction, Humor
5 Stars
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Genuinely tragic story of a dog's devotion to his master.
- Length: 11 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction
5 Stars
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The misadventures of a group of reluctant soldiers during the American civil war - in many ways, this story anticipates Catch 22.
- Length: 16 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction, Humor
5 Stars
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Creation's early days as recounted by earth's first woman.
- Length: 18 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction, Humor
5 Stars
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Typhoid enters a religious household. An emotional tale examining the morality of lies.
- Length: 21 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction
4 Stars
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A penniless man is bet that he can't survive for a month - starting and ending with nothing but an implausible, but real, £1,000,000 note. Trading Places, Brewster's Millions. . . . .
- Length: 22 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction, Humor
5 Stars
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Morality tale based on an elderly uncle's promise of his fortune to a thrifty couple.
- Length: 32 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction
4 Stars
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A wronged stranger determines to revenge himself on the most honest town in America.
- Length: 51 pages
- Age Rating: PG
- Genre: Fiction
5 Stars