Samuel Langhorne Clemens 1 Essay

Submitted By kbeecroft
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Beecroft 1
Kristi Beecroft
Mr Buschemeyer
May 27 2013
Author Biography Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as his pen name (Encyclopedia of World Biography 363), Mark Twain, was an American author, journalist, lecturer and humorist who wrote many books that are well-known today, such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ( Many critics refer to him as the “father of American literature”, and in his day, was the most literary icon in America. Twain’s writing was based around America’s culture and language, and he came up with his ideas on his worldwide travels and understanding of both human and individual experience ( Mark Twain was born on November 30th, 1835 in Florida, Missouri (Encyclopedia of World Biography 363), on a day that Halley’s Comet was visible, and was the sixth out of seven children. His parents were Jane Lampton Clemens and John Marshall Clemens. At the age of four, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, and continued to live there until he was eighteen years old. When Mark was only a mere age of eleven, his father died of pneumonia. Right after his father passed away, he became a typesetter in 1851, and at the age of 18, he left that job and moved to New York on his own to become a printer. Mark became highly interested in boats – mainly steamboats – and had an apprenticeship as a river pilot in New Orleans (, receiving $250 per month ( In 1858, he got his pilot license. Since he was always on and Beecroft 2 around rivers, he got very attached to them, which is what a lot of his writing was based on ( Although there were seven children in Mark’s family, not all of them survived throughout childhood. His four brothers, Orion, Pleasant, Benjamin and Henry, and his two sisters, Pamela and Margaret, all passed away at young ages, leaving him devastated, and the only child in his family ( Mark attended school in Hannibal, but after his father died, he had to quit school at eleven years old to get a job and help contribute to his family. Although he never finished school as a child, he knew that wherever he was, he could get some sort of education. Mark taught himself how to read, and still became one of the best writers in history ( At night, Twain would go to local libraries and educate himself by reading novels, biographies, journals, and newspapers ( Even though he never went to school after his father died, he still received the Master of Art degree from Yale in 1888 (, and the honorary doctorate degree from both Yale and Oxford in the early 1900’s ( When Mark Twain first laid eyes on his wife (Olivia Langdon), he instantly fell in love. According to legend, Olivia’s brother, Charles, was a passenger on the boat that Mark worked on, and one day, Charles showed Mark an ivory painting of Olivia and he couldn’t take his mind off of her from that day on (Meltzer 124) “I take as much pride in her brains as I do in her beauty” said Mark on his soon-to-be wife, Livy. Twain met up with the Langdon family many times, and his love for her deepened ( Mark and Olivia (Livy) were officially engaged on February 4th 1869, and finally got married on February 2nd, 1870 (Meltzer 123). They’re marriage is known to be one of the Beecroft 3 literary world’s most famous love matches, and lasted until the day Livy died, in June of 1904 ( Mark and Olivia settled down in Buffalo, New York (Meltzer 124) and later had four children, named Susy, Clara, Langdon and Jean. Their first child and only son, Langdon, died as a toddler due to diphtheria in June of 1872 at an age of nineteen months old. Mark’s