Author Spotlight: Mark Twain

Ernest Hemingway once said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called ‘Huckleberry Finn.’ It’s the best book we’ve had.” Besides being an American legend, here are some other interesting tidbits about Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain.

1) He tried out two other pen names: W. Epaminondas Adrastus Blab, and Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, before finally settling with Mark Twain.

2) He worked as an apprentice steamboat pilot as a young man, until the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861.

3) He got his younger brother, Henry, a job on his steamboat. But on June 13, 1857, 19-year-old Henry was killed in a deadly boiler explosion, devastating Twain.

4) Clemens’ pen name, Mark Twain, comes from a term signifying two fathoms (12 feet), which is a safe depth of water for steamboats to maneuver.

5) Served in a pro-Confederate militia, the Marion Rangers, for two weeks at the onset of the Civil War. When the Rangers learned Ulysses S. Grant was headed their way with a Union force, the group disbanded.

6) Twain became a friend of Ulysses S. Grant later on in life, and published the former president’s memoir in 1885, which became a best-seller and rescued Grant’s widow from poverty.

7) In 1864, Twain challenged a Nevada newspaperman to a duel, but fled before the fight took place to avoid being arrested for violating the territory’s anti-dueling law.

8) He based Huckleberry Finn on a real person, Tom Blankenship, who was a boy four years older than Twain when he was growing up in Hannibal, Missouri.

9) After finding success as an author, he made a number of bad investments and went bankrupt. When offered a chance to invest in a new invention, the telephone, he turned Alexander Graham Bell down.

Here is a list of more awesome free and bargain books:

And if you feel so inclined, you can buy my novel, Devil in the Countryside, here:

Thanks so much for tuning in, and happy reading!

Cory Barclay
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Published on April 01, 2017 22:07 Tags: american-literature, author, author-spotlight, huckleberry-finn, mark-twain, writing
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