By Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Mark Twain (born Samuel Clemens), a former printer's apprentice, journalist, steamboat pilot, and miner, continues to be to today some of the most enduring and loved of America's nice writers. Combining cultural feedback with old scholarship, A historic advisor to Mark Twain addresses quite a lot of themes proper to Twain's paintings, together with faith, trade, race, gender, social classification, and imperialism. like several of the old publications to American Authors, this quantity contains an advent, a short biography, a bibliographic essay, and an illustrated chronology of the author's existence and times.
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Additional resources for A Historical Guide to Mark Twain (Historical Guides to American Authors)
But, as Clemens pointedly insists, the concealment is bound to fail; the autobiographer lies half-consciously and without intending to, but in such a way that the truth may be inferred. An important feature of the truth emergent from the self-portrait attempted in Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography and First Romance is its lack of a clear subject. ” For all of his names and roles, then, Samuel Clemens in , Westerner, Southerner, bohemian, humorist, husband, father, nouveau riche, and newcomer to the civilized Northeast, was uncomfortable in some degree with all the selves available to him and bafﬂed as to the nature of the real thing.
He also signed an agreement with Elisha Bliss of the American Publishing Company, who persuaded him to expand his correspondence into a book to be sold by the new and extremely proﬁtable “subscription” method. The Innocents Abroad, with sales of nearly , copies in its ﬁrst year, was the happy result. It was reviewed enthusiastically by William Dean Howells, who became a very close, lifelong friend. Howells wrote with equal approval of Roughing It, a second, very proﬁtable subscription book, when it appeared in .
These and a few other kindred spirits provided relief from the rather leaden piety of most of the “pilgrims,” as they made their way around the Mediterranean, returning to New York on November . Clemens’s impressions of his companions and the many places they visited are recorded in The Innocents Abroad, his ﬁrst best-seller, published in . The book’s great popularity was undoubtedly rooted in its humorous, vernacular critique of the pretense and hypocrisy on display among the bourgeois American excursionists.
A Historical Guide to Mark Twain (Historical Guides to American Authors) by Shelley Fisher Fishkin