mArK tWaiN ---the world famous writer and humorist January 2003 10205 Grace Soong : )
Twain’s Life Twain’s Books Twain’s Short Stories My Thoughts References
10205 Grace Soong : ) ::: Twain’s Life ::: Born on November 30, 1935, in the small village of Hannibal, Missouri, Samuel Langhorne Clemens surely didn’t know he would be one of America’s greatest writers and humorists one day, known as “Mark Twain.” * I have looked up many references; most of them said that Samuel Clemens was born in Missouri while some others said that he was born in Florida and moved to Missouri when he was four. I am not sure where he was actually born, so I decided to follow the majority.
10205 Grace Soong : ) Twain’s Life Samuel spent his happy childhood days along the Mississippi River, watching the steamboats pass by day after day. When he was only twelve, his father passed away, so Samuel started to work in his older brother ’ s printing shop. During those years, Samuel started writing and even composed a humorous sketch, The Dandy Frightening the Squatter, which was published by a magazine. From then on, Samuel wrote a lot more articles. However, for someone like him who liked to run around, his main job as a printer wasn ’ t exciting enough. Thus, Samuel was quite glad when he had a chance to change his job from printing to the important and difficult work of piloting the Mississippi River steamboats.
10205 Grace Soong : ) Twain’s Life Samuel was happy as a river pilot until the Civil War between the North and the South （ 1861-1865 ） broke out and he had to change his job. He became a newspaper reporter who demonstrated his capacities as a reporter and humorist. In February 1863, Samuel adopted the pseudonym “ Mark Twain, ” a river phrase meaning “ two fathoms deep. ” In 1867,Mark Twain joined a ship taking a large group of American tourists to Europe and the East. That was when he wrote his first full-length novel, The Innocents Abroad. The humorous novel made Twain ’ s name famous around the country. The selling of the book also brought him quite a bit of money, of course.
10205 Grace Soong : ) Twain’s Life Although he had fame and fortune, Mark Twain still wasn ’ t satisfied. He wanted his own family. In 1870, Mark Twain married Miss Olivia Langdon of Elmira, N.Y. For the 34 years of their marriage, Olivia was indeed a good wife, and they had three daughters. Twain continuously wrote interesting stories and novels, in his humorous tone and style. He also lectured around the world, and all the audiences loved his speeches. In 1872, the Twain family moved to Hartford, Connecticut. Mark Twain went bankrupt because of business matters （ it was about his books ’ copyrights ） from 1893 to 1896, but he was saved from total ruin by an oil tycoon.
10205 Grace Soong : ) Twain’s Life In 1896, when Twain was working on Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, the book he considered his greatest work, he was astoundingly shocked by the devastating news that his favorite daughter, Susy, had died of meningitis in Hartford. He was in a very black mood. In 1904, weak Olivia died in Florence, where Twain had taken her to restore her health. Mark Twain ’ s writing career practically ended with his beloved wife and daughter ’ s death; but the active writer didn ’ t keep silent; he still had a brilliant mind and a humorous personality. Twain moved to Stormfield, in Redding, Connecticut, with millions of pairs of eyes focusing on him.
10205 Grace Soong : ) Twain’s Life After the marriage of his daughter Clara in October 1909 and the death of his youngest daughter, Jean, in December of the same year, Twain was truly alone. Because of age and the lack of health, Mark Twain, once and forever a great writer, died in Redding on April 21, 1910. Back
10205 Grace Soong : ) ::: Twain’s Books ::: -1865, “ The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County ” （ this was in a magazine ） -1869, The Innocents Abroad （ originally named as “ Alta California ” ） -1872, Roughing It -1873, The Glided Age -1875, Old Times on the Mississippi -1876, The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer -1880, A Tramp Abroad -1882, The Prince and the Pauper To be continued…
10205 Grace Soong : ) Twain’s Books -1883, Life on the Mississippi -1884 （ from 1876 ）, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -1885-1886, Personal Memoirs -1889, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur ’ s Court -1892, A Connecticut Yankee, An American Claimant -1893, Tom Sawyer Abroad -1894, Pudd ’ nhead Wilson -1896, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc -1910, Mark Twain died in Stormfield on April 21 -1916, The Mysterious Stranger BackBack
10205 Grace Soong : ) ::: Twain’s Short Stories ::: Twain and the Barber Twain and the Congressmen Twain and the Millionaire Twain and the Newspaper Ad Back
10205 Grace Soong : ) Twain’s Short Stories--- Twain and the Barber *Once, Twain went to a little town to give a speech. First, he went to a barber. “ You are a foreigner, aren ’ t you? ” the barber asked. “ Yes, I am a foreigner, ” Mark Twain answered. “ You ’ re very lucky, sir, ” continued the barber. “ Mark Twain is going to give a speech here tonight. You ’ ll go, won ’ t you? ” “ I think I will, ” said Mark Twain. “ Have you gotten a ticket yet? ” “ um … no. ” “ The tickets are all sold out; you ’ ll have to stand. ” “ Ah, I ’ m out of my luck, ” sighed Mark Twain. “ I always have to stand when he is giving a speech. ”
10205 Grace Soong : ) Twain’s Short Stories--- Twain and the Congressmen *Once, Mark Twain didn ’ t agree with congress for letting a statute pass, so he put an ad in a newspaper, saying, “ Half of the congressmen are bitches. ” The ad caused an uproar, and many protesting phone calls disturbed Twain. So, Mark Twain put an apologizing ad in the papers the following day, saying, “ I was wrong: half of the congressmen are not bitches. ”
10205 Grace Soong : ) Twain’s Short Stories--- Twain and the Millionaire *There was a millionaire who spent a lot of money on a fake eye because his left eye was damaged. He always boasted that the fake eye was life-like. One day, he met Mark Twain. He proudly asked Twain to guess which of his eyes was fake. Mark Twain examined them for a while, and pointed at his left eye, saying, ” This one. ” The millionaire was so shocked. He terrifyingly asked how Mark Twain found out. Twain simply said, “ Because there is still a little mercy in your left eye. ”
10205 Grace Soong : ) Twain’s Short Stories--- Twain and the Newspaper Ad * Once, on April 1,someone wanted to play a joke Mark Twain, so he put an ad in the newspaper saying Twain was dead. Many of Twain ’ s good friends were very sad; they dressed in black and went to Twain ’ s house to lament. When they went in and saw Twain sitting before his desk writing, they were all amazed and started criticizing the man who wrote the ad. Upon hearing the ad about his death, Mark Twain wasn ’ t at all angry; in fact, he smiled and said, “ It was fairly true. Only the date was a bit early. ” Isn’t Mark Twain a person ingenious beyond description? Back
10205 Grace Soong : ) My Thoughts Samuel Clemens, or Mark Twain, was really a great person who had a wonderful imagination and wrote so many unique stories that have lasted from the 1800’s, and, I believe, will still be popular even 500 years later. After writing this report, I dare say… I’ve found myself a new idol to revere. I spent at least ten hours on this report!! My progress was very slow, but I believe I have learned a lot. Every word of this report is composed and typed by me alone, as well as the powerpoint design and hyperlinks. I exchanged my study time for this report. It was a good bargain. Back Back
10205 Grace Soong : ) ::: References ::: Mark Twain(1991), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(the simplified edition), Longman Mark Twain(1991), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer(the simplified edition), Longman Americana Corporation(1980),Encyclopedia Americana, Americana Corporation 大紀元文化網 http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/1/8/16/c3357.htm 馬克吐溫妙言妙語選集 http://www.geocities.com/jerryteng/Twain%20Page%201.h tm Back