A great man once said, The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.a quote from The Art of Authorship, pp. 8788 (1890). It was a quote by a man whose birth and death dates were marked by a passing comet, the legend himself, Mark Twain.
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Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, lecturer, and a American Idol in the world of literature. He made a mark on the world with pen, paper, and a creative and brilliant imagination. His quotes are still sited to this day, inspiring those to thrive to be better individuals, and parts of civilization. Mark Twain was a legendary American author and through his childhood, adolescence, adulthood and literary contributions, has left a living legacy untouched by anyone else .
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was born on November 30th, 1835, in the tiny village of Missouri, Florida. He was the second youngest of John and Jane Clemen’s seven kids. When he was 4 years old, his family moved to the nearby town of Hannibal. John, Mark’s father, worked as an Lawyer, Storekeeper, judge, and land speculator.
He always dreamed of wealth to help feed is poverned family, but never achieved it. Some people say they never saw him smile, laugh, or show any joyful emotion, though Jane, Mark’s mother, was a fun-loving, tender hearted homemaker. In 1847, John passed suddenly of pneumonia, and Jane had to step up as the head of the bustling household. They were forced into years of economical struggle. He halted his schooling, when he was 12 years old, due to his father’s death. He found a job as an apprentice printer, where he was paid with a meager ration of food. When he turned to the age of 17, he moved out of Hannibal, b. But while he was there, he lived a rough life and , he witnessed a lot of death and poverty, and all of this would shape Mark’s career as a writer.
At the age of 21, Mark fulfilled a dream and began learning to pilot steamboats on the Mississippi. He was licensed to do so in 1859 where he found regular employment plying the shoals and channels of the great river. He loved his career for the high paying and high status he earned, which was close to how a jetliner pilot is viewed today. His career was halted in 1861 by the civil war, where he joined as a Confederate Army Volunteer. He only served a couple weeks when his unit was disbanded. After that he climbed aboard a stagecoach and headed west to Nevada and California.
For the next five years he prospected for gold and silver, convinced he would save his family with the money made from it. He didn’t find anything like he was looking for and ended up broke with a regular job. Mark knew his way around newspaper offices so he began his job as a reporter for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. This is where he adopted the name Mark Twain, which is steamboat slang for 12 ft of water. His news paper job got him his big break. He was already well known for his well told stories, so when he published the tale Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog which was printed all around the country.
At the age of 34, Mark was one of the most popular and famous writers in America, and in February of 1870, he moved back to the east coast and became even more well know for marrying Olivia (Livy) Langdon, the daughter of a wealthy New York coal merchant. Then settled down in Buffalo and having 4 kids. In 1876 his published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Fenn After that, his business in writing was looking to make him very wealthy. He triumphed as a publisher by issuing the bestselling memoirs of the former President Ulysses S. Grant, who had just passed. He spent many hours on building his business but never got to the wealth he was expecting. His publishing house went bankrupt soon after.
As Twain got older, he became more and more temperamental and bitter in his later years, suffering from paranoia. He told friends and loved ones that Much of the last decade of his life, he lived in hell. He started but failed to finish most of his projects. All he did was smoke cigars, read in bed, and play nearly endless hours of billiards and cards. His wife Olivia died from heart failure on June 1904. She was cremated, and her ashes are interred in Elmira. Twain, who was devastated by her death, died on April 21st of 1910, Mark Twain passed at the age of 74 of a heart attack.
On the same day, Halley’s Comet passed the earth again. He was buried in Elmira, New York
Samuel Clemens, or Mark Twain left a legacy behind that still carries on to this day. After over 108 years since his passing, his quotes, books, and life is still studied and told around the globe. One of his more famous books, Huckleberry Finn has been translated in over 75 languages, has more than 6,500 editions, and approximately 200,000 copies are sold each year. Making him a legendary man in the eyes of historians and authors. Clemens achieved a plethora of different things, but his literary art was by far his greatist.
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