Download A Historical Guide to Mark Twain (Historical Guides to by Shelley Fisher Fishkin PDF

By Shelley Fisher Fishkin

Mark Twain (born Samuel Clemens), a former printer's apprentice, journalist, steamboat pilot, and miner, continues to be to this present day probably the most enduring and liked of America's nice writers. Combining cultural feedback with old scholarship, A old advisor to Mark Twain addresses a variety of subject matters correct to Twain's paintings, together with faith, trade, race, gender, social classification, and imperialism. like several of the ancient courses to American Authors, this quantity comprises an advent, a short biography, a bibliographic essay, and an illustrated chronology of the author's lifestyles and times.

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The most indelible of these features is a drunken tramp who incinerated himself in the village jail with matches given to him by charitable Sam Clemens. “I was not responsible” for the poor man’s death, the humorist later wrote, “for I had meant him no harm but only good, when I let him have the matches; but no matter, mine was a trained Presbyterian conscience and knew but the one duty—to hunt and harry its slave upon all pretexts and on all occasions, especially when there was no sense nor reason in it.

It was a heavenly place for a boy, that farm of my uncle John’s,”46 he recalled. But a boy’s life was not all fun, even as it is represented in the immortal idyll of Tom Sawyer. Injun Joe is the novel’s principal figure of darkness, an abused outcast, who lurks along the margins of society, seeking bloody-minded revenge. The real Hannibal had many and similar horrors. ”47 The episode later served as the source for the Boggs murder in Huckleberry Finn. Equally unforgettable was the corpse of the stabbed emigrant that Sam fell upon in his father’s office one evening, and that he describes in detail in The Innocents Abroad.

At about this time, Clemens’s love of display drew him into the habit of wearing white suits in public. Meanwhile, his circle of friends expanded to include a number of young girls with whom he liked to visit and exchange letters. ” Clemens continued to be troubled by a variety of ailments, most ominously by a heart condition diagnosed late in . A few weeks later, on Christmas Eve, Jean had a seizure and drowned in the bathtub at Stormfield. It was a terrible blow. Her grieving fa- A Brief Biography  ther went south to Bermuda to recover, but soon began to suffer severe chest pains and hastened home.

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