Petersburg—physically recognizable as Hannibal. However, the novel quickly became the classic evocation of barefooted, mischievous boyhood. Nostalgic readers conflate it with Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as they shepherd their children through the restored sites expecting to feel a Norman Rockwell ambience. Translation into more and rarer languages continues, and Tom and Huck, often with Becky Thatcher, caper regularly on film, whitewashing the fence or exploring a cave.
Then ended shakily after his intricate, risky sketch, delivered at a banquet for John Greenleaf Whittier , was condemned by some newspapers as irreverent toward the current literary demigods of New England. All the more vulnerable to advice to display his finer side, he projected a didactic fable about a Tudor boy-king but stopped for a family tour of Europe that ended in England, where he met Charles Darwin, to their mutual pleasure, in August In those heady years any spells of fatigue were short; until old age took hold, he liked to deny ever getting sick.
Having supported Rutherford B. Hayes for president in through a cautiously modulated interview, Twain orated for James A. Garfield in with the confidence of an influential citizen, if only because A Tramp Abroad , after resisting closure, was selling briskly. Adjusted to his changing image and to his continual, ambitious self-education through reading and simply less inspired, it was tamer than his veteran admirers hoped for, but it achieved characteristic flights of hilarity and dragged in irrelevant yet memorable yarns.
While finishing thorough research by his standards into the reign of Edward VI, he kept diversifying his activities boldly. Culturally earnest parents vague about British history welcomed a suspenseful narrative they could urge on the young, and its changelings who demonstrate that undergoing pain and injustice can teach humaneness still attract translators around the world in contrasting political climates.
Revisiting it by steamboat helped to sharpen his senses and to net fresh anecdotes, enough to please some readers of Life on the Mississippi But the opinions expressed in the book about the postbellum economy along the entire valley interested fewer, and very few cared for its statistics and secondhand ballast. While Twain, always judging by sales, groused about his new publisher, his pace left no time for reflective self-appraisal as artist.
Having again picked up a planned sequel to Tom Sawyer , he also spun out forgettable burlesques, worked and played with Howells on a dead-end farce, tried to convert his novels for the stage, brainstormed as impresario for a tour with Cable, planned his own publishing firm, and dashed off in a handsome script more of the thousands of letters that delight both biographers and collectors. He declared for the Mugwumps in , proudly offending the Republican regulars he had usually marched with since Gifted in all degrees of irony, he would leave dedicated enemies in Hartford too.
Webster and Company—released its first book, using the subscription channel. I been there before. For later taste, its plot staggers before finishing lamely. The original plates added the minstrel-show level of the illustrations that Twain supervised.
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Despite that, in , when racial prejudice was reestablishing itself as legal, whites could learn better from the sound heart, mind, and conscience of the runaway slave Jim. Long acquainted with Ulysses S. The impressive public tributes for his fiftieth birthday probably surprised him little. He was getting so many invitations—petitions, actually—to speak that nobody could reasonably mind being refused.
In Yale University conferred an honorary M. Moreover, the jaunty idiom of the I-narrator lightened the hortatory passages. Beneath the knockabout comedy, A Connecticut Yankee spelled out his social philosophy: universal suffrage rooted in education freed of prescribed religion, laissez-faire economics softened by the right to unionize against any tyrannical corporations, the nurturing of industry by protecting patents, a civil service staffed through merit rather than patronage, a stable currency, and free trade—Manchester liberalism with an American face.
But historians of science fiction praise its use of time travel in reverse, and the general reader still enjoys its case for technology, anger toward advantages of class, and irreverent farce. Legal fees also drained him; his sense of personal justice beyond any self-interest directed much time, fuming, and money into actual or threatened litigation.
By the monthly check for the typesetter had to stop. Meanwhile, rheumatism was torturing his right arm, and despite our feeling that his prose flows like talk, it failed to do so for a dictaphone. In June Twain and his family left for Europe to stay until their income again matched their extravagant habits. Though Olivia would buy more furnishings for the Hartford house, the family never revitalized it with their interplay. Of course Twain had contracted for travel letters to be sent from France, Germany, Switzerland, and Marienbad the famous spa in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Settled in Berlin for the winter of —, he compiled the too hopefully named Merry Tales and reactivated Colonel Sellers for The American Claimant , his closest approach to a realistic novel and his dullest book. While giving his most synoptic look at the antebellum South, it wavers between nature and nurture, between the determinisms of heredity and environment. More troublesome, it dramatizes both a warmer sensitivity toward blacks and approval seconded by the illustrations of the comic stereotypes then believed by most whites.
Likewise, the humor oscillates between buffoonery and corrosive satire. With the American economy sputtering just when he most needed credit, he rushed back several times to prop up his firm and the typesetter. He gave Rogers his power of attorney, assigned his copyrights to Olivia, and in April announced the bankruptcy of his publishing house. To complete the rout, the typesetter broke down at its crucial test. In July he set out from Cleveland with Olivia and daughter Clara. After engagements in the upper tier of states they embarked for Australia and New Zealand.
Interviewers, deferentially sympathetic, played up his age and ailments besides his financial heroism. Still, parading on to acclaim in India, Ceylon, and finally South Africa, he enjoyed the sights and even most of his performances, adjusting deftly to local problems and national differences. The expected reunion in London collapsed with the death at Hartford of his daughter Susy, just twenty-four years old and endowed, her parents judged, for creative achievements. Twain began to formulate a determinist metaphysic for his lifelong moods of pessimism. While the family mourned in rigid seclusion, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc met with many mixed reviews, some of which preferred competing biographies or chided the quality of its research, which had nevertheless been unusually systematic for Twain.
Meanwhile, to distract his brooding he labored toward enough manuscript for Following the Equator , titled More Tramps Abroad in the tidier British edition. Much of its humor was forced, steadily pumped up on cue.
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Still, the countries it sampled were exotic for Western readers, and his irrepressible curiosity shone through. Most reviewers acknowledged its political commentary; while ambivalent about the British raj, Twain had snapped alert to imperialism or, more particularly, its seizures of territory and its exploitation and even slaughter of native peoples. By the summer of the family had regenerated enough energy to leave London, settling next in Vienna because Clara had decided on a career in music. Both the press and reigning socialites welcomed them with unexpected enthusiasm, and Clara and her father, often without Olivia, were soon attending parties and recitals.
As soon as Rogers had cleared his debts, Twain was negotiating for another world-scale invention, admitting, defiantly but cheerfully, that he could not merely coast along. Still, the writing project that engaged him the most fundamentally, the Eseldorf version of the Mysterious Stranger fable, preached a somber philosophy.
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The British lionized Twain further, though the family wanted privacy since all four had problems with or worries about their health, which improved little with treatments at a Swedish sanatorium. Growing hostile to British foreign policy, especially in South Africa, Twain was restrained not just by personal ties or the firming Anglo-American alliance but also by awareness that his criticism would rate headlines, as did simply his heralded arrival back in the United States—never to leave, he vowed.
As his prestige swelled to match his self-assurance, reporters let him control the flow of subjects. Every major New York City newspaper and syndicate covered him in October at dockside, where he radiated vitality and patriotism yet also announced his anti-imperialism. Despite his choosing to stay abroad most of the time since , the public embraced Twain as the quintessential American who had sallied forth to win the homage of the world. Organizers of social events begged him to show up for at least a while; the anti-Tammany coalition in New York City featured his support while he cooperated with gusto.
Sharing the euphoria, his family could face up to their qualms about resurrecting the Nook Farm idyll, and Twain probably wanted a wider stage; they rented a house near Manhattan. Without apparent strain he moved deeper into the doubleness that fascinates biographers. His anti-imperialism, which now explicitly challenged American policies also, rang out in righteous essays; yet some manuscripts spun tragic, crushing fantasies that offer only the escape of being a dream. Morgan , orchestrate a banquet at an exclusively expensive club just as he was deciding that finance capital had corrupted the Eden of his childhood.
The divided life swept on. Louis nostalgically but nestled back into the modernity of Manhattan. Nobody has charged him with infidelity during his many absences from home, and Olivia never regretted stepping into his whirlwind. If critics grumble that his fiction portrays marriage as mutual devotion, he could claim experience of it. While fleshing out a more phantasmagoric version of the Mysterious Stranger, he socialized amiably. His formal mourning ended with a gala seventieth-birthday banquet for guests selected by Harvey. Having proclaimed an earned right to willfulness in his widely reprinted speech for the birthday fete, Twain drank heavily, played billiards almost compulsively, raged at enemies real or imagined, and lorded over his retinue.
Conflicted pairings abound. Published anonymously, What Is Man? But the installments of autobiography sold to the North American Review recalled autonomous if eccentric personalities along with many pleasurable episodes. Lonesome beneath the stroking at his Fifth Avenue court, he revisited Bermuda with Twichell and summered youthfully in with the Rogers family, leaving to upstage the ceremony where Oxford University bestowed an enviable Litt. Joking broadly about the imminence of death, he rounded off some manuscripts. Contemplating eternity, he nevertheless commissioned an elaborate country seat near Redding, Connecticut.
Is Shakespeare Dead? Twain could never accept the stern, demanding God of the Old Testament or ignore Him. While contemplating her several tragedies, Twain realized abashedly that his comic spontaneity would nevertheless rebound.
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But it was increasingly stifled by heart disease, overdue for an incessant smoker who had, he drolled, given up cigars many a time. Trips to Bermuda helped little before his death at Stormfield. So Mark Twain lives on in a uniquely double way. He remains popular as an author and a cultural icon, and he fascinates a circle of scholars and critics delving into his works, mind, personality, and career.
Every general research library holds rare editions and some autographed letters. Nick Karanovich holds the outstanding private collection. Pamphlets, some authorized, with one or more sketches appeared throughout his lifetime; the most notorious is [Date ] Conversation, As It Was by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors , Starting in the Iowa-California Edition and the parallel Mark Twain Papers Edition have issued authoritative texts of his writings and his heretofore unpublished except selectively notebooks and manuscripts.
Paine, Mark Twain: A Biography , records many personal details not available otherwise. Justin Kaplan, Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain , won several major prizes. Louis J. Clemens , combines analysis of his texts and his character. John Gerber, Mark Twain , is a brief critical biography within the format of a series. Emerson and Gerber give selective but expert bibliographies.
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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Forgot password? Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution. Sign in with your library card. Search within River Piloting on the Mississippi In he joined his married sister in St. The Innocents Abroad Having managed to please audiences several times since a first speech in Iowa, Twain ventured to charge for a lecture in San Francisco about the Sandwich Islands.
Literary Friends The Twain home attracted a swelling, almost daily parade. If for any reason your order is not available to ship, you will not be charged.
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