The Complete Essays of Mark Twain

( 2 )

Overview

Mark Twain is best known as one of this country's finest humorists and novelists. As this collection confirms, he was one of our finest essayists as well. Gathered here in a single volume, these pieces reveal the complete range of this esteemed American writer and contain some of his best, funniest, and most caustic work. "English as She Is Taught," "What Is Man?," and "Letters to Satan" are among the seventy-seven essays, each featuring Twain's witty, vital, colorful style—and reminding us why, nearly one ...

See more details below
Paperback
$26.14
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$29.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $3.85   
  • New (10) from $14.85   
  • Used (12) from $3.85   
Sending request ...

Overview

Mark Twain is best known as one of this country's finest humorists and novelists. As this collection confirms, he was one of our finest essayists as well. Gathered here in a single volume, these pieces reveal the complete range of this esteemed American writer and contain some of his best, funniest, and most caustic work. "English as She Is Taught," "What Is Man?," and "Letters to Satan" are among the seventy-seven essays, each featuring Twain's witty, vital, colorful style—and reminding us why, nearly one hundred years after his death, he continues to be one of the most widely read and beloved of all American authors.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Twains meet here in this duo of nonfiction goodies published in 1963 and 1984, respectively. Twain was equally at home in fiction and nonfiction, and this material can rival his best stories for humor and style. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306809576
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2000
  • Pages: 732
  • Sales rank: 1,393,253
  • Product dimensions: 1.61 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Neider is a noted literary critic, editor, and novelist. His many books as editor include Washington Irving’s George Washington: A Biography, The Complete Humorous Sketches and Tales of Mark Twain, The Great West: A Treasury of Firsthand Accountsand The Complete Short Stories of Robert Louis Stevenson. The Complete Essays of Mark Twain, The Autobiography of Mark Twain. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Biography

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri; his family moved to the port town of Hannibal four years later. His father, an unsuccessful farmer, died when Twain was eleven. Soon afterward the boy began working as an apprentice printer, and by age sixteen he was writing newspaper sketches. He left Hannibal at eighteen to work as an itinerant printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. From 1857 to 1861 he worked on Mississippi steamboats, advancing from cub pilot to licensed pilot.

After river shipping was interrupted by the Civil War, Twain headed west with his brother Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the Nevada Territory. Settling in Carson City, he tried his luck at prospecting and wrote humorous pieces for a range of newspapers. Around this time he first began using the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a riverboat term. Relocating to San Francisco, he became a regular newspaper correspondent and a contributor to the literary magazine the Golden Era. He made a five-month journey to Hawaii in 1866 and the following year traveled to Europe to report on the first organized tourist cruise. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) consolidated his growing reputation as humorist and lecturer.

After his marriage to Livy Langdon, Twain settled first in Buffalo, New York, and then for two decades in Hartford, Connecticut. His European sketches were expanded into The Innocents Abroad (1869), followed by Roughing It (1872), an account of his Western adventures; both were enormously successful. Twain's literary triumphs were offset by often ill-advised business dealings (he sank thousands of dollars, for instance, in a failed attempt to develop a new kind of typesetting machine, and thousands more into his own ultimately unsuccessful publishing house) and unrestrained spending that left him in frequent financial difficulty, a pattern that was to persist throughout his life.

Following The Gilded Age (1873), written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, Twain began a literary exploration of his childhood memories of the Mississippi, resulting in a trio of masterpieces --The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), on which he had been working for nearly a decade. Another vein, of historical romance, found expression in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), the satirical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), while he continued to draw on his travel experiences in A Tramp Abroad (1880) and Following the Equator (1897). His close associates in these years included William Dean Howells, Bret Harte, and George Washington Cable, as well as the dying Ulysses S. Grant, whom Twain encouraged to complete his memoirs, published by Twain's publishing company in 1885.

For most of the 1890s Twain lived in Europe, as his life took a darker turn with the death of his daughter Susy in 1896 and the worsening illness of his daughter Jean. The tone of Twain's writing also turned progressively more bitter. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a detective story hinging on the consequences of slavery, was followed by powerful anti-imperialist and anticolonial statements such as 'To the Person Sitting in Darkness' (1901), 'The War Prayer' (1905), and 'King Leopold's Soliloquy' (1905), and by the pessimistic sketches collected in the privately published What Is Man? (1906). The unfinished novel The Mysterious Stranger was perhaps the most uncompromisingly dark of all Twain's later works. In his last years, his financial troubles finally resolved, Twain settled near Redding, Connecticut, and died in his mansion, Stormfield, on April 21, 1910.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens (real name); Sieur Louis de Conte
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1835
    2. Place of Birth:
      Florida, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      April 21, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Redding, Connecticut

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 8, 2012

    Highly Recommended if you like Mark Twain!

    Love Twain's humor. Great book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2003

    He will make you laugh

    Arguably America's greatest comic writer Twain's humor is richly displayed in this collection. He is not as deep as Emerson or Thoreau but he is crankily more down- to - earth and human . His obsessions with business, invention,writing, and the nature of human nature are pleasurably apparent in these essays. And so is the fact that aside from being a great writer he was a very caring father and decent human - being. His sympathy for the Jewish people is something which I find especially heartwarming. There may be much in these essays which tastes like popcorn but then as one of the first great American entertainers popcorn may not be all that bad. Few are the writers who can make you laugh out loud, and this genius who could speak in so many different American dialects and voices is certainly among the best of them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)