Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- "Jim said that bees won't sting idiots, but I didn't believe that, because I tried them lots of times myself and they wouldn't sting me."
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
- "He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it—namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain."
Better known by his pen name, Samuel Langhorne Clemens was at various times a riverboat pilot, journalist, critic, entrepreneur, lecturer and humorist, inventor, and author of numerous short stories and several novels, including two classics of American literature: 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' and 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.' His pen name … Mark Twain.
Born in 1835 AD in Florida, Missouri, when he was four his family moved to nearby Hannibal, a bustling metropolis of 1000 (not counting the dogs and hogs). His father – a serious sort who worked there as a lawyer and judge – died in 1847 and the family became “almost destitute.” Nonetheless, Samuel managed to keep up his schooling until the age of 12, when, to help the family finances he found work as an apprentice printer. Meanwhile, he began studies to be a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, gaining license and a position in 1859. However, his career was cut short by the Civil War. So Clemens took Horace Greeley’s advice.
For the next five years he would make his way across Nevada and California, first as a prospector, and when that didn’t pan out as a reporter. In the process, Twain honed a distinctive style: friendly, conversational, often satirical, insightful, and funny. With the publication nationwide of the story “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog” followed by the 1869 novel 'The Innocents Abroad,' he became the most popular and successful writer of the time.
In 1870, he married Olivia Landgon, the well-bred daughter of a wealthy New York family, thus improving his social standing. Six years later, he published 'Tom Sawyer' followed by 'Huckleberry Finn' in 1884. Although he would write many more pieces, these two placed him forever in the pantheon of great writers. Samuel Clemens died in April 1910 at his home in Connecticut.