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Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens

Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens

Author: Rebecca Oberg

This learning packet should review:

-The biography of Mark Twain
-Major works of Mark Twain
-Why the author is important to literature and history
-The cultural and importance of Mark Twain
-The historical context of the time in which Mark Twain lived and wrote

-All of these will help you read Mark Twain's works successfully and effectively.

This learning packet details the life, major works, and historical context of the well-known American author Mark Twain. The packet explores why he is so important to literature and history. Understanding these points is key to being an effective reader of Twain's works. The packet offers a slide show with a biography, historical context, and several key quotations for which Twain is famous. The packet also offers fast facts, a partial list of works, and a few multimedia clips offering more biographical information as well as a summary and analysis of Twain's perhaps most well-known work, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is included to provide optional, additional information.

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Mark Twain: Life, Works, and Quotations

This slide show presentation offers images as well as detailed information about the life, historical context, major works, and quotations of Mark Twain. Wise, witty, and insightful original quotations are of the of the achievements for which Twain is most well-known.

Fast Facts: Mark Twain

Birth name: Samuel Longhorne Clemens
Nickname (name change): Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass
Occupation: Novelist
Birth date: November 30, 1835
Birth place: Florida, Mo.
Death date: April 21, 1910
Death place: Redding, Conn.
Burial location: Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, N.Y.
Spouse: Olivia Langdon
Children: Langdon Clemens, Susy Clemens, Clara Clemens, Jean Clemens

Did you know?
  • Haley's Comet was visible in the sky on the night that Mark Twain was both born and passed away.
  • Mark Twain published more than 30 books throughout his career.
  • Hannibal, Mo. served as the inspiration for the fictional town of St. Petersberg in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
  • As a teenager, Twain worked as an apprentice printer.
  • As a riverboat pilot, Twain earned from $150 to $250 a month.
  • During the Civil War, Twain formed a Confederate militia known as the "Marion Rangers." The militia disbanded after approximately two weeks.
  • Twain left Missouri after his militia disbanded and moved to Nevada. There he worked as a miner.
  • "Roughing It" describes Twain's journey out West with his brother Orion.
  • From 1901 until his death in 1910, Twain was vice president of the American Anti-Imperialist League.
  • "Huckleberry Finn" was ranked as the fifth most frequently challenged book in the United States by the American Library Association.
  • Prior to adopting Mark Twain as his pen name, Clemens wrote under the pen name Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass for a number of humorous pieces that he contributed to the Keokuk Post.

Source:, The Official Website of Mark Twain

Biography of Mark Twain

A fast-paced, highly engaging brief biography of Mark Twain, focusing particularly on his early life and career.

Source: YouTube

Most Well-Known Works of Mark Twain

These are some of the writings for which Twain is most well-known. For a complete list of his works, visit
  • (1867) The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (fiction)
  • (1872) Roughing It (non-fiction)
  • (1875) Sketches New and Old (fictional stories)
  • (1876) Old Times on the Mississippi (non-fiction)
  • (1876) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (fiction)
  • (1882) The Prince and the Pauper (fiction)
  • (1883) Life on the Mississippi (non-fiction)
  • (1884) Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (fiction)
  • (1894) Tom Sawyer Abroad (fiction)
  • (1894) Pudd'n'head Wilson (fiction)
  • (1897) How to Tell a Story and other Essays (non-fictional essays)
  • (1910) Queen Victoria's Jubilee (non-fiction, published posthumously)
  • (1924) Mark Twain's Autobiography (non-fiction, published posthumously)

Source:, The Official Website of Mark Twain