Guy Cardwell, editor. The best-known works of Mark Twain, in one volume for the first time: Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi, Huckleberry Finn, and Pudd'nhead Wilson. Filled with comic and melodramatic adventure, these four books evoke life along the Mississippi River, which for Twain represented the boundary between the comforts of civilization and the rough realities, violence, and potential freedom of the frontier. "Both familiar classics and forgotten treasures." -Christian Science Monitor
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."