November 30, 1835
April 21, 1910
Children, Classic, Historical Fiction,
Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens but was best known by the pen name Mark Twain. His most recognized characters was probably Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Twain was born during a visit by Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it" as well. He died the day following the comet's subsequent return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age".
Twain patented three inventions, including an "Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments" (to replace suspenders) and a history trivia game. Most commercially successful was a self-pasting scrapbook; a dried adhesive on the pages only needed to be moistened before use.
Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse, but evolved into a chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies and murderous acts of mankind. A complete bibliography of his works is nearly impossible to compile because of the vast number of pieces written by Twain (often in obscure newspapers) and his use of several different pen names.
Twain was an adamant supporter of abolition and emancipation, even going so far to say "Lincoln's Proclamation ... not only set the black slaves free, but set the white man free also." He argued that non-whites did not receive justice in the United States, once saying "I have seen Chinamen abused and maltreated in all the mean, cowardly ways possible to the invention of a degraded nature....but I never saw a Chinaman righted in a court of justice for wrongs thus done to him." He paid for at least one black person to attend Yale Law School and for another black person to attend a southern university to become a minister.
This month's selections are:
|The Prince and the Pauper||The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson||The Mysterious Stranger||On the Decay of the Art of Lying||The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories|
Facts for this biography was found at Wikipedia