Birthday Freebies, Mark Twain!

Samuel Langhorne Clemens or better known by his pen name Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835.. He is most noted for his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 1876 and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1885, the latter often called “the Great American Novel.”

He grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion‘s newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” which became very popular and brought nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well received.

He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

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