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Mark Twain

  • The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson | Mark Twain

    In one of his later novels, the master storyteller spins a tale of two children switched at infancy. A slave takes on the identity of master and heir while the rightful heir is condemned to live the life of a slave. Twain uses this vehicle to explore themes of nature vs. nurture, racial bigotry...

  • A Dog's Tale | Mark Twain

    This short novel of Twain’s, is told from the point of view of a loyal and beloved family pet. Themes of heroics, valor and heart-wrenching tenderness fill this work. The story is also filled with happy events as well as sad ones and is ultimately about what dogs are to us … best friends. A Dog’...

  • Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences | Mark Twain

    This is Mark Twain's vicious and amusing review of Fenimore Cooper's literary art. It is still read widely in academic circles. Twain's essay, Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses (often spelled "Offences"), particularly criticized The Deerslayer and The Pathfinder. Twain wrote at the beginning...

  • Chapters from My Autobiography | Mark Twain

    Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) began writing his autobiography long before the publications of these Chapters from my Autobiography. He originally planned to have his memoirs published only after his death but realized, once he’d passed his 70th year, that a lot of the material might be OK to...

  • The American Claimant | Mark Twain

    The American Claimant is a novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The story focuses on the class differences and expectations of monarchic, hierarchical Britain and the upstart, "all men are created equal" America. Twain wrote the novel with the help of phonographic dictation, the...

  • Sketches New and Old | Mark Twain

    This collection of 63 writings by Mark Twain has among other sketches, it contains “The Jumping Frog” in the original English, followed by a French translation, which Twain re-translated into English, showing how the French translation of his work was “badly flawed.” In many of these sketches,...

  • Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven | Mark Twain

    Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven” is a short-story written by American writer Mark Twain. The story follows Captain Stormfield on his extremely long cosmic journey to heaven, his accidental misplacement, his short-lived interest in singing and playing the harp, and the obsession of souls...

  • In Defense of Harriet Shelley | Mark Twain

    Mark Twain pulls no punches while exposing the "real" Percy Shelley in this scathing condemnation of Edward Dowden's "Life of Shelley". Even though, as Twain writes, "Shelley's life has the one indelible blot upon it, but is otherwise worshipfully noble and beautiful", Twain shows how Shelley's...

  • Those Extraordinary Twins | Mark Twain

    "Those Extraordinary Twins" was published as a short story, separate and distinct from its origins inside Twain's "The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson". As Twain explains, he extricated "Twins" from "Pudd'nhead" when he found, as he was writing, that he'd created a farce inside a tragedy. This is...

  • Life on the Mississippi | Mark Twain

    Life on the Mississippi is a memoir by Mark Twain detailing his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War. A good portion of the work also deals with his post-war visit to the “old haunts”.

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