Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain), 1835 - 1910
Photo by A. F. Bradley, New York (1907)
Born: 30 November 1835, Florida, Missouri
Died: 21 April 1910, Redding, Connecticut
The author we know as Mark Twain grew up at Hannibal, Missouri along the Mississippi River. After his father's death he started setting type in a newspaper shop at age 12 and soon was contributing articles and sketches to the Hannibal Journal, owned by his elder brother Orion. He abandoned his writing career at 21 to become a river boat pilot, two years training followed by four highly-paid years that ended when the Civil War curtailed river traffic. He went west, writing for newspapers in Nevada and California. Fortunately for us, he made a series of bad investments, both in building his own publishing company and financing various inventions, which forced him to write a staggering number of words. "Mark Twain" was the sounding call of the leadsman on a riverboat, indicating two fathoms (twelve feet) of water, a safe depth for the riverboats. A captain he admired had sent brief items about the river to the New Orleans Picayune under that name, when he learned that the captain had died he settled on it for most of his own work.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are often "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
Mark Twain quotes:
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- A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother. permalink
- A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain. permalink
- A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. permalink
- A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove its title? permalink
- A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes. permalink
- A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. permalink
- A man is accepted into church for what he believes - and turned out for what he knows. permalink
- A man never reaches that dizzy height of wisdom that he can no longer be led by the nose. permalink
- A monarch, when good, is entitled to the consideration which we accord to a pirate who keeps Sunday School between crimes; when bad, he is entitled to none at all. permalink
- A newspaper is not just for reporting the news, it's to get people mad enough to do something about it. permalink
- A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it. permalink
- A thing long expected takes the form of unexpected when at last it comes. permalink
- Adam and Eve entered the world naked and unashamed - naked and pure-minded. And no descendant of theirs has ever entered it otherwise. All have entered it naked, unashamed, and clean in mind. They entered it modest. They had to acquire immodesty in the soiled mind, there was no other way to get it.... The convention missionaries called "modesty" has no standard, and cannot have one, because it is opposed to nature and reason and is therefore an artificiality and subject to anyone's whim - anyone's diseased caprice. permalink
- Adam was but human - this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent. permalink
- After a few months' acquaintance with European "coffee," one's mind weakens, and his faith with it, and he begins to wonder if the rich beverage of home, with its clotted layer of yellow cream on top of it, is not a mere dream after all, and a thing which never existed. permalink
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