Mark Twain works are enjoyed worldwide. His real name
was Samuel Langhorne Clemens and he was born the 30th
of November 1835, in the village of Florida, Monroe
County, Missouri. After his father's death in 1847,
Twain was apprenticed to a printer and wrote for his
brother's newspaper. Later, Twain worked as a licensed
Mississippi riverboat pilot, adopting his name from
the call ('Mark twain!' - meaning by the mark of two
fathoms) used when sounding river shallows. After the
Civil War brought an end to the steamboat traffic,
Clemens moved to Virginia City. On February 3, 1863,
'Mark Twain' was born when he signed a humorous travel
account with his new name.
In 1864 Twain went to San Francisco to work as a
reporter. He traveled in France and Italy and his
experiences were recorded in 1869 in THE INNOCENTS
ABROAD, which brought him wide popularity, and made
fun at both American and European prejudices and
In 1870 he married Olivia Langdon. Together they
relocated to Hartford a year later. Meanwhile, Twain
continued to lecture in the United States and England.
Between 1876 and 1884 he published several
masterpieces, including Tom Sawyer, the Prince and the
Pauper, Life on the Mississippi, and Huckleberry Finn.
In the 1890s Twain lost most of his earnings in
financial speculations and in the downhill of his own
publishing firm. The death of his wife and his second
daughter brough a sense of gloom in the author's later
years, which is seen in writings and his
autobiography. Twain died on April 21, 1910.
"When in doubt, tell the truth."