Autobiographical Writings

Mark Twain - Author

R. Kent Rasmussen - Editor

R. Kent Rasmussen - Introduction by

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ISBN 9780143106678 | 544 pages | 29 May 2012 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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Summary of Autobiographical Writings Summary of Autobiographical Writings Reviews for Autobiographical Writings An Excerpt from Autobiographical Writings

An intimate look at Mark Twain that only he himself could offer

A must-have for all lovers of Mark Twain, this selection of his autobiographical writings opens a rare window onto the writer’s life, particularly his early years. Born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri, Samuel Langhorne Clemens first used the pseudonym Mark Twain while a journalist in Nevada in 1863. When his first major book, The Innocents Abroad, appeared six years later, he began what would become one of the most celebrated and influential careers in American letters. Autobiographical Writings will help readers know the author intimately and appreciate why, a century after his death, he remains so vital and appealing.

Introduction by R. KENT RESMUSSEN

Suggestions for Further Reading

A Note on the Texts



Chapters from My Autobiography


An Unpleasant Adventure

My First Literary Venture

Cub Piloting Days

Early Years in Florida, Missouri

A Mississippi River Story

My Boyhood's Home

Jane Lampton Clemens

The Space-Annihilating Power of Thought

Hunting the Deceitful Turkey


My Boyhood Dreams

Is Shakespeare Dead?

The Turning-Point of My Life


“To [Clemens's] fascinating recollections Rasmussen contributes an informative Introduction that courageously takes up the issue of Samuel Clemens's veracity, a fuller-than-usual chronology of Clemens's life, an up-to-date bibliography of scholarship devoted to his autobiographical writings, and a surprisingly ample "Glossary" that identifies everyone and everything from Susan Crane to John Hay to the Monday Evening Club to the starboard side of a river vessel… a highly usable and deeply enjoyable compilation of some of Twain's very best prose.”
Mark Twain Forum

“Rasmussen seems to have been born with the destiny of bringing order and light to Twain scholarship… So now he’s written yet another book that I would say ought to be near to hand for any scholar doing work on Sam Clemens, the biographical individual.”
—Lawrence Berkove, University of Michigan-Dearborn