Mark Twain's ramblings took him all over the American West during the 1860s. He prospected for gold and silver, speculated on timber and mining stocks, sailed to Hawaii, and worked for a succession of small newspapers. In Roughing It, his fictionalized account of these years, tall tales abound, as do sketches of unforgettable characters: desperadoes, vigilantes, newspapermen, Mormons, and prospectors. Twain's debt to the burlesque stylings of regional humorists and his celebrated gift for accurately rendering regional speech are never more in evidence than here, but as Hamlin Hill points out in his introduction, Roughing It must also be read as Twain's renunciation of his footlose bachelorhood, his rejection of the mythic, romanticized image of the West, and his autopsy of the American dream.
A fascinating picture of the American frontier emerges from Twain's fictionalized recollections of his experiences prospecting for gold, speculating in timber, and writing for a succession of small Western newspapers during the 1860s.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, novelist, writer and lecturer. Twain's greatest contribution to American literature is generally considered to be his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
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