Mark Twain
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Biography for
Mark Twain (Character)
from Mark Twain (2001) (TV)

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Mark Twain was a real, live person, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835, a year that Halley's Comet was visible from Earth. As he approached the twilight years of his life, he said, "I came in with Halleys comet in 1835. It is coming again, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halleys comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt, 'Now, here are these two unaccountable freaks. They came in together; they must go out together.' He was at various times in his life a printer's devil, a writer, a riverboat pilot, a gold and silver miner, a newspaper columnist, a humorous lecturer, a foreign correspondent, and a novelist. He is best remembered today as a humorist, because although he flourished mostly in the Victorian era, there is a definite timeless quality to his work, largely because of the philosophy which informed all his humor. As a writer and lecturer, he became famous, and much beloved, all over the world.

During his later years, it was only occasionally that Mark Twain lectured and gave readings from his works. In 1895, when he was sixty years old, he decided that he needed to rebuild his fortunes by making a reading tour around the world. In July, 1895, he set out from Elmira, New York on the long trail across land and sea. Mrs. Clemens and their daughter Clara joined the pilgrimage, her sisters Susy and Jean remaining at Elmira with their aunt. The reading tour was a triumph, but then came a heavy blow. A cable from home announced that Susy was gravely ill. Then a second cable informed the father that Susy was dead. In the latter part of 1900, they went home -- that is, home to America. Mrs. Clemens never could bring herself to return to their house in Hartford, where they had been so happy together. She never again saw their Hartford home. in June, 1904. Mrs. Clemens died in Florence, Italy. It was on the day before Christmas, 1909, that Clemens' daughter Jean, an epileptic, was seized with a convulsion while in her bath and died before assistance reached her. He was dazed by the suddenness of the blow. His philosophy sustained him, however. He was glad, deeply glad, for the beautiful girl had been released. "I never greatly envied anybody but the dead," he said, when he had looked at her. "I always envy the dead." His own end followed early in 1910, the first year since that of his birth that Halley's comet returned to Earth's neighborhood. He died on April 21, 1910 at his beloved Connecticut estate, Stormfield.

Sources:

Lewis, Andrew G.: Mark Twain Merriman, C. D.: Mark Twain. 2006 Jalic Inc Paine, Albert Bigelow: A Short Life of Mark Twain. New York and London, Harper & Brothers 1920 Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Mark Twain

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