logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA
Irish Culture
Home Finance


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Short Stories Site

BellaOnline's Short Stories Editor

g

Mark Twain

Guest Author - Sharon Cullars




"A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval."

An American writer, journalist and humorist, Mark Twain lived by his words. He wrote stories that were humorous, clever, and often exhibited a candor and honesty that dug at the sensitive skin of American society. With self-deprecating wit, he mocked the gentility of his day, astutely observing the inanities of the human condition. And though he may have garnered reproach for his honesty, he chose to live with his own approval rather than that of others.

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri in 1835, Twain grew up in Hannibal, Mississippi, a place which would later color many of his stories. He began his career as a printer’s apprentice and shortly after started writing for his brother’s newspaper. Restless, he moved on from there to become a Mississippi steam-boat pilot, a four-year career brought to a halt by the Civil War. Twain even joined up with a group fighting for the South, which doled out the standard supplies of mule, blanket, frying pan, boots, umbrella and rifle. However, Twain soon realized that the fighting life wasn’t for him, and began writing accounts of his adventures. He sent humorous letters to The Daily Territorial Enterprise in Virginia, for the first time assuming the pseudonym Mark Twain, a riverboat term meaning "safe water" (twelve feet or two fathoms). The newspaper staff was so impressed with his writings, including his serious works (the serious essays he signed with his own name), they offered him the position of editor for $25 a week.

In 1864, after a hoax back-fired and Twain was threatened with jail, he left Virginia for San Francisco where he worked as a reporter, still using the pen name Mark Twain. Unfortunately, he riled up some powerful San Francisco politicos with his candor, and again had to make haste, this time fleeing to the Sacramento Valley. It was in Sacramento that Twain first heard an interesting account about an ancient frog-jumping contest in Greece. The story gave birth to his own tale of The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, which was published in several newspapers along the west coast, garnering Twain the title of "Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope."

Throughout his career, Twain would work in many cities for as many publications, including in New York and Cincinnati. A travel through France and Italy during his youth was recorded in Innocents Abroad, published in 1869. However, it was the exploits of his Mississippi childhood (with a good friend Tom Blankenship) that would inspire his most famous works, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain’s use of the vernacular and sentiments of his time, especially in his depiction of the slave, Jim, has brought some accusations of racism. Ironically, through his unapologetic depiction, Twain tried to show the cruelties of slavery and racism, institutions he was known to deplore.

Twain married Olivia Langdon in 1870, and the couple settled in Connecticut with their three daughters. Twain’s success as a writer and lecturer gained him early financial security. But through a series of bad investments, he found himself in debt and was forced to travel a lecture circuit throughout Europe to recoup his losses. Sickness claimed his youngest daughter while he was in Europe. Years later, tragedy struck again, this time claiming his wife and later his second daughter. Twain never fully recovered from their deaths.

Twain died on April 21, 1910. On the day of his birth, Halley’s Comet appeared in the sky and Twain often said that he hoped to go out of this world with it’s next appearance. That comment gave rise to the legend that Halley’s Comet welcomed in and escorted out one of America’s most famous and beloved writers. There are claims that Halley’s Comet did indeed pass over the day after Twain left this earth. Although some refute this legend, Twain never needed a stellar event to mark his life. His writings had already set him among the stars.

Read Twain’s story of the famous jumping frog in The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Mark+Twain to Twitter Add Mark+Twain to Facebook Add Mark+Twain to MySpace Add Mark+Twain to Del.icio.us Digg Mark+Twain Add Mark+Twain to Yahoo My Web Add Mark+Twain to Google Bookmarks Add Mark+Twain to Stumbleupon Add Mark+Twain to Reddit




RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Short Stories Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Sharon Cullars. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sharon Cullars. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

g


g features
The Teaching Story

Short Stories with a Historical Backdrop

Creative Backgrounds for Short Stories

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor