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Selected works of humour and criticism by a revered American master. Beloved by millions, Mark Twain is the quintessential American writer. More than anyone else, his blend of scepticism, caustic wit and sharp prose defines a certain American mythos. While his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is still taught to anyone who attends school and is considered by many to be the Great American Novel, Twain's shorter stories and criticisms have unequalled style and bite.In a review that's less than kind to the writing of James Fenimore Cooper, Twain writes: "Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, he is sure to step on a dry twig. There may be a hundred handier things to step on, but that wouldn't satisfy Cooper. Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig; and if he can't do it, go and borrow one." It's difficult to imagine anyone else writing in quite this style, which is why Twain's legacy only continues to grow.
The Humorous Story an American Development. Its Difference from Comic and Witty Stories.
o Includes the authoritative texts for eleven pieces written between 1868 and 1902 o Publishes, for the first time, the complete text of "Villagers of 1840-3," Mark Twain's astounding feat of memory o Features a biographical directory and notes that reflect extensive new research on Mark Twain's early life in Missouri Throughout his career, Mark Twain frequently turned for inspiration to memories of his youth in the Mississippi River town of Hannibal, Missouri. What has come to be known as the Matter of Hannibal inspired two of his most famous books, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and provided the basis for the eleven pieces reprinted here. Most of these selections (eight of them fiction and three of them autobiographical) were never completed, and all were left unpublished. Written between 1868 and 1902, they include a diverse assortment of adventures, satires, and reminiscences in which the characters of his own childhood and of his best-loved fiction, particularly Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, come alive again. The autobiographical recollections culminate in an astounding feat of memory titled "Villagers of 1840-3" in which the author, writing for himself alone at the age of sixty-one, recalls with humor and pathos the characters of some one hundred and fifty people from his childhood. Accompanied by notes that reflect extensive new research on Mark Twain's early life in Missouri, the selections in this volume offer a revealing view of Mark Twain's varied and repeated attempts to give literary expression to the Matter of Hannibal.
Mark Twain is best known for his novels and short stories. Twain uses his incredible whit to depict life in America. His books Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn have been read by school children for generations. His life on the Mississippi River has peeked the imagination of boys to go and build a raft and sail off into unknown adventures. From the original dust jacket, The Innocents Abroad of 1869 and Roughing It of 1872 . . . remain today among the most popular travel books ever written. The Innocents Abroad, based largely on letters written for New York and San Francisco newspapers, narrates the progress of the first American organized tour of Europe, to Naples, Smyrna, Constantinople, and Palestine. . . . Roughing It is the light-hearted account of Mark Twain's actual and imagined adventures when he escaped the Civil War and joined his brother, recently appointed Secretary of the Nevada Territory. His accounts of stagecoach travel, Indians, Western dress and food, and customs, frontier society . . . are intermingled with his own experiences as a prospector, miner, journalist, boon companion and lecturer as he traveled through Nevada, Utah, California and even to the Hawaiian Islands.
One of the most famous travel books ever written by an American, here is an irreverent and incisive commentary on the "New Barbarians'" encounter with the Old World. Twain's hilarious satire impales with sharp wit both the chauvinist and the cosmopolitan.
"I have told you nothing about man that is not true." You must pardon me if I repeat that remark now and then in these letters; I want you to take seriously the things I am telling you, and I feel that if I were in your place and you in mine, I should need that reminder from time to time, to keep my credulity from flagging.<P> In Letters from the Earth, Twain presents himself as the Father of History -- reviewing and interpreting events from the Garden of Eden through the Fall and the Flood, translating the papers of Adam and his descendants through the generations. First published fifty years after his death, this eclectic collection is vintage Twain: sharp, witty, imaginative, complex, and wildly funny.
At once a romantic history of a mighty river, an autobiographical account of Twain?s early steamboat days, and a storehouse of humorous anecdotes and sketches, here is the raw material from which Mark Twain wrote his finest novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
A memoir from Twain about two periods in his life - the first as a navigation pilot, and then in later years, when he returned to visit the river.
Life on the Mississippi (1883) is a memoir by Mark Twain of his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War, and also a travel book, recounting his trip along the Mississippi from St. Louis to New Orleans many years after the War. The book begins with a brief history of the river as reported by Europeans and Americans, beginning with the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1542. It continues with anecdotes of Twain's training as a steamboat pilot, as the 'cub' of an experienced pilot. He describes, with great affection, the science of navigating the ever-changing Mississippi River in a section that was first published in 1876, entitled "Old Times on the Mississippi". In the second half, Twain narrates his trip many years later on a steamboat from St. Louis to New Orleans. He describes the competition from railroads, and the new, large cities, and adds his observations on greed, gullibility, tragedy, and bad architecture. He also tells some stories that are most likely tall tales.
"Why, you simple creatures, the weakest of all weak things is a virtue which has not been tested in the fire."Written on hotel stationary while in Europe on the run from American creditors, soon after the death of a daughter, The Man That Corrupted Handleyburg is often cited as a work of bitter cynicism--a statement on America, to some, on the Dreyfus Case, to others--created by a weary author at the end of his career. Another appreciation, however, is that it is, simply, Mark Twain at his best. The story of a mysterious stranger who orchestrates a fraud embarrassing the hypocritical citizens of "incorruptible" Hadleyburg. The novella is an exceptionally crafted work intertwining a devious and suspenseful plot with some of the wittiest dialogue Twain ever wrote. And like the most masterful literature, it subverts any notion of easy conclusion: is Hadleyburg ruined, or liberated? Is the mysterious stranger Satan, or a hero? Is this a book of revenge, or redemption? One thing is clear: This brilliant novella is a complex and compassionate consideration of the human character by a master at the height of his form. The Art of The Novella Series Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
Mark Twain wrote his greatest works more than one hundred years ago, but he's never far from the minds of Americans. Whether it's the new, complete, and uncensored version of his autobiography hitting bestseller lists or the removal of certain controversial language from one of his novels, his name and his legacy remain a topic of conversation--and undoubtedly will for years to come. There's no better time to appreciate his stories, or read them for the very first time.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson are collected in this Canterbury Classics Edition, along with an introduction by a renowned Twain scholar that will enlighten new and familiar readers alike.
Revered as one of America's greatest humorists and author of the "Great American Novel" (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), the words of Samuel Langhorne Clemens-more commonly known as Mark Twain-resonate as strongly today as they did when he wrote them more than a century ago. A close friend of Nikola Tesla and heralded by William Faulkner as "the father of American literature," Twain's wit, wisdom, and influence continues through the present day.Printer, typesetter, steamboat pilot, miner, reporter, journalist, author, inventor, humorist, investor, publisher, lecturer-Mark Twain was known as many things during his lifetime and has had at least as many titles thrust upon him since this death, but perhaps what he is best known for is being a source of good old-fashioned common sense. Whatever the topic-whether science and technology, life and love, history and culture, travel and exploration, civil rights and human rights, labor and politics, or ethics and religion-Twain had much to say and many ways to say it. Here, culled from his greatest novels, speeches, letters, conversations, and lectures is the best wisdom and advice-humorous, sardonic, and insightful as always.
"This handbook -- an etiquette guide for the human race -- contains sixty-nine aphorisms, anecdotes, whimsical suggestions, maxims, and cautionary tales from Mark Twain's private and published writings. It dispenses advice and reflections on family life and public manners; opinions on topics such as dress, health, food, childbearing, and safety; and more specialized tips, such as those for dealing with annoying salesmen and burglars. Culled from Twain's personal letters, autobiographical writings, speeches, novels, and sketches, these pieces are fresh, witty, startlingly relevant with Twain's characteristic ebullience. They also remind us exactly how Mark Twain came to be the most distinctive and well-known American literary voice in the world."--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
In this book authors briefly explain here and there upon the set of journals, diaries, or common place books which through a period of nearly fifty years he had kept and, what is still more remarkable, preserved.