Autobiographical Writings (Penguin Classics)

Autobiographical Writings (Penguin Classics)

Mark Twain, R. Kent Rasmussen

Language: English

Pages: 544

ISBN: 0143106678

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


An intimate look at Mark Twain that only he himself could offer, edited by highly respected Twain scholar R. Kent Rasmussen

A must-have for all lovers of Mark Twain, this selection of his autobiographical writings opens a rare window onto the writer’s life, particularly his early years. Born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri, Samuel Langhorne Clemens first used the pseudonym Mark Twain while a journalist in Nevada in 1863. When his first major book, The Innocents Abroad, appeared six years later, he began what would become one of the most celebrated and influential careers in American letters. Autobiographical Writings will help readers know the author intimately and appreciate why, a century after his death, he remains so vital and appealing.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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little isle, gazing, red-eyed, out over the glooming seas, snow-flecked with driving spindrift, and lashing his tail—a most scary spectacle to see. The lion was outraged because we, a nation of children, without any grown-up people among us, with no property in the language, but using it merely by courtesy of its owner the English nation, were trying to defile the sacredness of it by removing from it peculiarities which had been its ornament and which had made it holy and beautiful for ages. In

intended to commit this crime, and was unaware that I had committed it until I was confronted with the awful evidence. I have lost his answer, I could better have afforded to lose an uncle. Of these I had a surplus, many of them of no real value to me, but that letter was beyond price, beyond uncledom, and unsparable. In it Dr. Holmes laughed the kindest and healingest laugh over the whole matter, and at considerable length and in happy phrase assured me that there was no crime in unconscious

Hannibal, on which he will later model the fictional St. Petersburg of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. After leaving school at eleven, he does printing work for local newspapers, including his brother Orion’s papers, and writes occasional sketches and essays. March 24, 1847: John Marshall Clemens’s death leaves his family impoverished. 1853–1856: Sam Clemens leaves Missouri to work as a printer in St. Louis, Philadelphia, and New York; after returning to the Midwest, he does similar work for

the indictment was sound: that Satan was utterly wicked and abandoned, just as these people had said; but, would any claim that he had been treated fairly? A sinner was but a sinner; Satan was just that, like the rest. What saves the rest—their own efforts alone? No—or none might ever be saved. To their feeble efforts is added the mighty help of pathetic, appealing, imploring prayers that go up daily out of all the churches in Christendom and out of myriads upon myriads of pitying hearts. But who

shredded away and disappeared in the glad splendor of the sun. They were the creatures of fear and darkness, and they could not live out of their own place. The day gave me cheer and peace, and at night I repented again. In all my boyhood life I am not sure that I ever tried to lead a better life in the daytime—or wanted to. In my age I should never think of wishing to do such a thing. But in my age, as in my youth, night brings me many a deep remorse. I realize that from the cradle up I have

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