Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, and Essays, Volume 2: 1891-1910

Overview

This with its companion volume is the most comprehensive collection ever published of Mark Twain's short writings: the incomparable stories, sketches, burlesques, hoaxes, tall tales, speeches, satires, and maxims of America's greatest humorist. Arranged chronologically and containing many pieces restored to the form in which Twain intended them to appear, the volumes show with unprecedented clarity the literary evolution of Mark Twain over six decades of his career. This volume contains eighty pieces from the ...
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Overview

This with its companion volume is the most comprehensive collection ever published of Mark Twain's short writings: the incomparable stories, sketches, burlesques, hoaxes, tall tales, speeches, satires, and maxims of America's greatest humorist. Arranged chronologically and containing many pieces restored to the form in which Twain intended them to appear, the volumes show with unprecedented clarity the literary evolution of Mark Twain over six decades of his career. This volume contains eighty pieces from the years 1891 to 1910, when Twain emerged from bankruptcy and personal tragedy to become the white-suited, cigar- smoking international celebrity who reported on his own follies and those of humanity with an unerring sense of the absurd. Some stories display Twain's fascination with money and greed, such as "The Esquimau Maiden's Romance" and "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg." Other stories, written after the death of his daughter Susy in 1896, explore the outer limits of fantasy and psychic phenomena, including "Which Was the Dream?," "The Great Dark," and "My Platonic Sweetheart." The United States military involvement in Cuba, China, and the Philippines turned Twain's attention to political satire and invective. "To the Person Sitting in Darkness," "The United States of Lyncherdom," "The Czar's Soliloquy," "King Leopold's Soliloquy," and "The War Prayer" are biting denunciations of European and American imperialism. Other political issues inspired articles and stories about the Jews, the notorious Dreyfus case, and vivisection. Twain's increasingly unorthodox religious opinions are powerfully, often comically expressed in "Extracts from Adam's Diary," "Eve's Diary," "Eve Speaks," "Adam's Soliloquy," "A Humane Word from Satan," "What Is Man?," "Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven," and "Letters from the Earth." "Against the assault of laughter," he said, "nothing can stand." Twain's brilliant inventiveness continues to shine in such later co
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780940450738
  • Publisher: Library of America
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Series: Library of America Series
  • Pages: 1050
  • Sales rank: 570,992
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.13 (h) x 1.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Twain

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, and died at Redding, Connecticut in 1910. In his person and in his pursuits he was a man of extraordinary contrasts. Although he left school at twelve when his father died, he was eventually awarded honorary degrees from Yale University, the University of Missouri, and Oxford University. His career encompassed such varied occupations as printer, Mississippi riverboat pilot, journalist, travel writer, and publisher. He made fortunes from his writing but toward the end of his life he had to resort to lecture tours to pay his debts. He was hot-tempered, profane, and sentimental-and also pessimistic, cynical, and tortured by self-doubt. His nostalgia helped produce some of his best books. He lives in American letters as a great artist, the writer whom William Dean Howells called "the Lincoln of our literature."

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, and died at Redding, Connecticut in 1910. In his person and in his pursuits he was a man of extraordinary contrasts. Although he left school at twelve when his father died, he was eventually awarded honorary degrees from Yale University, the University of Missouri, and Oxford University. His career encompassed such varied occupations as printer, Mississippi riverboat pilot, journalist, travel writer, and publisher. He made fortunes from his writing but toward the end of his life he had to resort to lecture tours to pay his debts. He was hot-tempered, profane, and sentimentaland also pessimistic, cynical, and tortured by self-doubt. His nostalgia helped produce some of his best books. He lives in American letters as a great artist, the writer whom William Dean Howells called “the Lincoln of our literature.”

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.

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    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

Table of Contents

1891
Aix-les-Bains 1
Playing Courier 15
Mental Telegraphy 30
1892
The Cradle of Liberty 49
1893
The $1,000,000 Bank-Note 60
About All Kinds of Ships 81
Extracts from Adam's Diary 98
Is He Living or Is He Dead? 109
The Esquimau Maiden's Romance 118
Travelling with a Reformer 134
Concerning Tobacco 149
1894
Private History of the "Jumping Frog" Story 152
Macfarlane 161
1895
What Paul Bourget Thinks of Us 164
Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences 180
Fenimore Cooper's Further Literary Offenses 193
How to Tell a Story 201
1896
Man's Place in the Animal World 207
1897
In Memoriam 217
Which Was the Dream? 220
1898
A Word of Encouragement for Our Blushing Exiles 260
About Play-Acting 263
From the "London Times" of 1904 273
My Platonic Sweetheart 284
The Great Dark 297
1899
Diplomatic Pay and Clothes 344
Concerning the Jews 354
Christian Science and the Book of Mrs. Eddy 371
The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg 390
My First Lie and How I Got Out of It 439
1900
My Boyhood Dreams 447
Introducing Winston S. Churchill 454
A Salutation-Speech from the Nineteenth Century to the Twentieth, Taken Down in Short-Hand by Mark Twain 456
1901
To the Person Sitting in Darkness 457
Battle Hymn of the Republic (Brought Down to Date) 474
As Regards Patriotism 476
The United States of Lyncherdom 479
Edmund Burke on Croker and Tammany 487
Two Little Tales 496
Corn-Pone Opinions 507
1902
Does the Race of Man Love a Lord? 512
The Five Boons of Life 524
Was It Heaven? Or Hell? 527
The Dervish and the Offensive Stranger 547
1903
Why Not Abolish It? 550
Mark Twain, Able Yachtsman, on Why Lipton Failed to Lift the Cup 554
A Dog's Tale 561
"Was the World Made for Man?" 572
1904
Italian Without a Master 577
Saint Joan of Arc 584
The $30,000 Bequest 597
1905
Concerning Copyright 627
Adam's Soliloquy 635
The Czar's Soliloquy 642
Dr. Loeb's Incredible Discovery 648
The War Prayer 652
A Humane Word from Satan 656
Christian Citizenship 658
King Leopold's Soliloquy: A Defense of His Congo Rule 661
A Helpless Situation 687
Overspeeding 692
In the Animal's Court 693
Eve's Diary 695
Eve Speaks 710
Seventieth Birthday Dinner Speech 713
Old Age 719
1906
The Gorky Incident 720
William Dean Howells 722
What Is Man? 731
Hunting the Deceitful Turkey 805
1907
Dinner Speech at Annapolis 808
Our Guest 813
The Day We Celebrate 818
Little Nelly Tells a Story Out of Her Own Head 823
Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven 826
1908
Little Bessie 864
1909
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