Mark Twain And The Lost Manuscript Of The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

1687 words - 7 pages

Mark Twain and the Lost Manuscript of Huckleberry Finn

 
    On November 30, 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in the town

of Florida, Missouri.  He had four siblings, three were older than him and

one was younger.  When Clemens was four, his family moved to the town of

Hannibal, Missouri.  Hannibal was a town located on the Mississippi river

and would later become the setting for most of his stories ("Twain").  In

1847, when Clemens was twelve his father died.  Clemens grew up in an

educated family (Works of Twain: Biographical Sketch).  At age twelve he

was apprenticed to a printer and at age sixteen he worked under his brother,

Orion who was a newspaper publisher in Hannibal.  Clemens made an early

attempt at writing by sending comical travel letters to the Keokuk Saturday

Post in Iowa under the pen name Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass.  These letters

contained purposely inserted errors typical of Clemen's later work. When he

was twenty-two he fulfilled a childhood dream by becoming apprenticed to a

riverboat pilot named, Horace Bixby.  After his apprenticeship, he worked

as a river boat pilot for four years. 

 

The Civil War stopped riverboat

traffic in 1861.  Clemens was out of work for several weeks before he

traveled with his brother Orion to Nevada.  Orion had aspirations of

becoming Territorial Secretary of Nevada.  Clemens became a reporter and

later a feature editor for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, a

Nevada newspaper.  During his reporting of the Nevada Constitutional

Convention, Samuel Langhorne Clemens officially adopted for himself the pen

name "Mark Twain" (Works of Twain: Brief Account).  Clemens got the name

from a river term which means two fathoms, or twelve feet of water depth ("

Twain").  "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaverous County" the first

writing of Twain was published in the New York Saturday Press on November

18, 1865 and won him almost instant recognition (Works of Twain: Brief

Account).  That same year he was sent to Hawaii as a roving reporter, or

mobile reporter, but returned to the mainland shortly after and became a

lecturer. 

 

In 1869, Twain made a lecture tour of the Mediterranean and the

Holy Land.  While he was on tour he sent letters back to America that were

later published as The Innocents Abroad (Works of Twain: Brief Account).

In 1870, William Dean Howells, editor of the Atlantic Monthly and a highly

respected novelist, became his close friend and literary advisor.  Twain

purchased a publishing firm in Hartford, Connecticut that went insolvent in

1894.  By this time Twain was having financial difficulties due to high

living and failed investments such as the printing firm and a typesetting

machine that he spent a fortune promoting ("Twain").  In 1894 and 1896,

Twain wrote two new sequels...

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