By Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Mark Twain (born Samuel Clemens), a former printer's apprentice, journalist, steamboat pilot, and miner, is still to at the present time some of the most enduring and cherished of America's nice writers. Combining cultural feedback with historic scholarship, A ancient consultant to Mark Twain addresses a variety of themes proper to Twain's paintings, together with faith, trade, race, gender, social category, and imperialism. like several of the historic publications to American Authors, this quantity contains an creation, a short biography, a bibliographic essay, and an illustrated chronology of the author's lifestyles and times.
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Additional info for A Historical Guide to Mark Twain (Historical Guides to American Authors)
An important feature of the truth emergent from the self-portrait attempted in Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography and First Romance is its lack of a clear subject. ” For all of his names and roles, then, Samuel Clemens in , Westerner, Southerner, bohemian, humorist, husband, father, nouveau riche, and newcomer to the civilized Northeast, was uncomfortable in some degree with all the selves available to him and bafﬂed as to the nature of the real thing. As it happened, his true self—or, rather, one of the selves that would come in time to seem truest to him—was a boy from Hannibal, already alive in in Clemens’s shaping memory and imagination, but not yet fully formed.
Howells wrote with equal approval of Roughing It, a second, very proﬁtable subscription book, when it appeared in . Two years later, he accepted Clemens’s moving account of a slave mother’s sorrow, “A True Story,” for publication in the high-brow Atlantic Monthly, which he edited. Gratiﬁed by his elevation to the literary elite, and with Howells’s encouragement, Clemens next turned to “Old Times on the Mississippi,” a series of seven articles on his steamboating experiences which appeared serially in the Atlantic in .
Through intervals of prosperity, family fortunes ﬂuctuated, though the long-term trend was discouraging. In addition to storekeeping, John Marshall invested in several plots of government land and purchased a substantial Florida homesite. He was a leader in several ill-fated schemes for the commercial and cultural development of the region and was sworn in as a judge of the Monroe County Court in . A year later he moved his wife and children into a comfortable new house. But their prospects in Florida were not bright.