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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Talk Show Review: Mark Twain on SecretBuilders

Today’s Talk Show guest was Mark Twain (birth name Samuel Langhorne Clemens) – one of the most renowned American writers, author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

He shared with the audience that he was born in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835, to a Tennessee country merchant, John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampton Clemens. When he was four, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri so that’s where he was raised. As a young man he held a series of jobs which included work as a printer's apprentice, a Mississippi riverboat pilot, and a newspaperman in Nevada and San Francisco.

Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse, but evolved into a chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, with Huckleberry Finn, he combined rich humor, sturdy narrative and social criticism. Mark Twain was a master at rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularize a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language.

He moved gradually from journalism to travel writing and then to fiction, aided by the success of his travel memoir The Innocents Abroad. Some of his other popular works include Life on the Mississippi, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and the short story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

His humorous tales of human nature, especially The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, remain standard texts in high school and college literature classes. In his own day he was a tremendously popular figure and a celebrated public speaker who toured widely.

The audience showed keen interest in Mr. Twain and asked many questions after Joebar invited them to do so. The great author promised to come back and visit SecretBuilders again.

Next week's guest is Florence Nightingale.
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