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Thesis Statement: An original draft of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn exists containing material excluded from the first printing of the book.
I. Twain’s biographical information
C. Professional life
2. Literary works
3. Financial conditions
D. Personal life
1. Life style
2. Family life
II. Original manuscript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
A. General information
1. Discovery information
2. How the manuscript was lost
B. Legal battle for printing rights
C. Difference from the first publishing
Mark Twain and the Lost Manuscript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
On November 30, 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in the town of Florida, Missouri. He had four siblings, three were older than him and one was younger. When Clemens was four, his family moved to the town of Hannibal, Missouri. Hannibal was a town located on the Mississippi river and would later become the setting for most of his stories (“Twain”). In 1847, when Clemens was twelve his father died. Clemens grew up in an educated family (Works of Twain: Biographical Sketch). At age twelve he was apprenticed to a printer and at age sixteen he worked under his brother, Orion who was a newspaper publisher in Hannibal. Clemens made an early attempt at writing by sending comical travel letters to the Keokuk Saturday Post in Iowa under the pen name Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass. These letters contained purposely inserted errors typical of Clemen’s later work. When he was twenty-two he fulfilled a childhood dream by becoming apprenticed to a riverboat pilot named, Horace Bixby. After his apprenticeship, he worked as a river boat pilot for four years. The Civil War stopped riverboat traffic in 1861. Clemens was out of work for several weeks before he traveled with his brother Orion to Nevada. Orion had aspirations of becoming Territorial Secretary of Nevada. Clemens became a reporter and later a feature editor for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, a Nevada newspaper. During his reporting of the Nevada Constitutional Convention, Samuel Langhorne Clemens officially adopted for himself the pen name “Mark Twain” (Works of Twain: Brief Account). Clemens got the name from a river term
which means two fathoms, or twelve feet of water depth (“Twain”). “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaverous County” the first writing of Twain was published in the New York Saturday Press on November 18, 1865 and won him almost instant recognition (Works of Twain: Brief Account). That same year he was sent to Hawaii as a roving reporter, or mobile reporter, but returned to the mainland shortly after and became a lecturer. In 1869, Twain made a lecture tour of the Mediterranean and the Holy Land. While he was on tour he sent letters back to America that were later published as The Innocents Abroad (Works of Twain: Brief Account). In 1870, William Dean Howells, editor of the Atlantic Monthly and a highly respected novelist, became his close friend and literary advisor. Twain purchased a publishing firm in Hartford, Connecticut that went insolvent in 1894. By this time Twain was having financial difficulties due to high living and failed investments such as the printing firm and a typesetting machine that he spent a fortune promoting (“Twain”). In 1894 and 1896, Twain wrote two new sequels to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but neither of these were successful. In another attempt to repay his debts, Twain launched a world lecture tour. Twain repaid all of his debts by 1898. Twain wrote very little in his last days due to family and personal problems. Twain- America’s favorite humorist- turned into a pessimistic writer, whose last works are filled with darkness and grimness (Works of Twain: Brief Account). Twain met Olivia Langdon in 1867 and married her in 1870. Five years after his marriage, he moved to Hartford, Connecticut and built an extravagant house
(Works of Twain: Biographical Sketch). Clemens had three daughters Susie, Clara, and Jean. Clara moved to Europe with her husband around 1894. Jean had epilepsy and died of a heart attack in January of 1910. Twain’s life was filled with much sorrow and depression, this is probably the reason that some Twain’s last writings were so savage and bitter that they have just recently been published. On April 21, 1910, just four months after his daughter’s death, Twain died of a heart attack (Works of Twain: Biographical Sketch).
In 1990, the original
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Mark Twain, Picaresque novels, Sagebrush School, Mississippi River, Redding, Connecticut, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, Hannibal, Missouri, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Jon Clinch, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn
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