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THE FAMILY OF JOHN CLEMENS A long time ago, back in the early years of another century, a family named Clemens moved from eastern Tennessee to eastern Missouri—from a small, unheard-of place called Pall Mall, on Wolf River, to an equally small and unknown place called Florida, on a tiny river named the Salt. That was a far journey, in those days, for railway trains in 1835 had not reached the South and West, and John Clemens and his... more...

To Mr. J. Howard Moore: Feb. 2, '07. DEAR MR. MOORE, The book has furnished me several days of deep pleasure and satisfaction; it has compelled my gratitude at the same time, since it saves me the labor of stating my own long-cherished opinions and reflections and resentments by doing it lucidly and fervently and irascibly for me. There is one thing that always puzzles me: as inheritors of the mentality of our reptile ancestors we have... more...

An editorial in the Louisville Courier-Journal, early in 1901, said:"A remarkable transformation, or rather a development, has takenplace in Mark Twain. The genial humorist of the earlier day is nowa reformer of the vigorous kind, a sort of knight errant who doesnot hesitate to break a lance with either Church or State if hethinks them interposing on that broad highway over which he believesnot a part but the whole of mankind has the privilege of... more...

To W. D. Howells; in Boston: Jan. 3, '86. MY DEAR HOWELLS,—The date set for the Prince and Pauper play is ten days hence—Jan. 13. I hope you and Pilla can take a train that arrives here during the day; the one that leaves Boston toward the end of the afternoon would be a trifle late; the performance would have already begun when you reached the house. I'm out of the woods. On the last day of the year I had paid out $182,000 on the... more...

The Monday Evening Club of Hartford was an association of most ofthe literary talent of that city, and it included a number of verydistinguished members. The writers, the editors, the lawyers, andthe ministers of the gospel who composed it were more often than notmen of national or international distinction. There was but onepaper at each meeting, and it was likely to be a paper that wouldlater find its way into some magazine.Naturally Mark Twain... more...


To Bret Harte, in San Francisco: WESTMINSTER HOTEL, May 1, 1867. DEAR BRET,—I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well and hope these few lines will find you enjoying the same God's blessing. The book is out, and is handsome. It is full of damnable errors of grammar and deadly inconsistencies of spelling in the Frog sketch because I was away and did not read the proofs; but be a friend and say nothing about these things. When my... more...

MARK TWAIN—A BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY SAMUEL LANGHORNE CLEMENS, for nearly half a century known and celebrated as "Mark Twain," was born in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835. He was one of the foremost American philosophers of his day; he was the world's most famous humorist of any day. During the later years of his life he ranked not only as America's chief man of letters, but likewise as her best known and best loved citizen. The... more...

The First Home in the Metropolis. We had never lived in New York. This fact will develop anyway, as I proceed, but somehow it seems fairer to everybody to state it in the first sentence and have it over with. Still, we had heard of flats in a vague way, and as we drew near the Metropolis the Little Woman bought papers of the train boy and began to read advertisements under the head of "Flats and Apartments to Let." I remember that we wondered... more...

Chapter One It was during the holiday week that Eddie proposed the matter. That is Eddie's way. No date, for him, is too far ahead to begin to plan anything that has vari-colored flies in it, and tents, and the prospect of the campfire smell. The very mention of these things will make his hair bristle up (rather straight, still hair it is and silvered over with premature wisdom) and put a new glare into his spectacles (rather wide, round... more...

THE BOOK, AND THE DREAM It was a long time ago—far back in another century—that my father brought home from the village, one evening, a brand-new book. There were not so many books in those days, and this was a fine big one, with black and gilt covers, and such a lot of pictures! I was at an age to claim things. I said the book was my book, and, later, petitioned my father to establish that claim. (I remember we were climbing... more...