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

By Shelley Fisher Fishkin

Mark Twain (born Samuel Clemens), a former printer's apprentice, journalist, steamboat pilot, and miner, continues to be to at the present time probably the most enduring and cherished of America's nice writers. Combining cultural feedback with historic scholarship, A historic consultant to Mark Twain addresses a variety of subject matters correct to Twain's paintings, together with faith, trade, race, gender, social category, and imperialism. like any of the historic courses to American Authors, this quantity comprises an creation, a quick biography, a bibliographic essay, and an illustrated chronology of the author's existence and times.

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Jennie, the last of his father’s slaves, lived with the family for most of his childhood. Sam once looked on as his father flogged her for insubordination. ”49 Slavery was accepted without much protest in antebellum Hannibal, though people recoiled inwardly from the inevitable excesses brought on by the institution. “When I was ten years old,” Clemens later recalled, while traveling in India, “I saw a man fling a lump of iron-ore at a slave-man in anger, for merely doing something awkwardly—as if it were a crime.

The venture was sufficiently profitable that a second tour was scheduled for the winter months of –. There were occasional lectures in the years that followed—in the major English cities in –, for example— and a joint tour with George Washington Cable, billed as the “Twins of Genius,” in –. Finally, in –, the sixtyyear-old humorist undertook a global lecture tour which he describes in Following the Equator (). Lecturing was sometimes pleasurable—“he was the most consummate public performer I ever saw,” Howells testifies65—but Clemens missed home and wearied of train travel, hotels, and restaurant food.

59 It was another of those vexed episodes he came back to again and again, trying in vain to find a version of the story he could live with. During the next two years, spent largely in California, Sam supported himself by writing for the Golden Era and the Californian, both literary magazines, the latter edited by Bret Harte, and as a reporter for the San Francisco Morning Call. His now seasoned nose for trouble led him into conflict with the San Francisco police, who took umbrage when he criticized them in print for corruption and mistreatment of the Chinese.

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