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Chapters from my Autobiography by Mark Twain

Loyal Books

“...if I should talk to a stenographer two hours a day for a hundred years, I should still never be able to set down a tenth part of the things which have interested me in my lifetime.” The words of Mark Twain in his introduction to Chapters from my Autobiography provide a tantalizing glimpse of what is in store for the reader! Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens was still working on his reminiscences when he died in 1910. This book is really only a portion of the complete work. The interesting part of his autobiography is that the first volume of 700 odd pages was published exactly 100 years after his death, in 2010 by the University of California in keeping with his last will and testament. It achieved wild popular success. This made Twain the only best seller writer to be famous in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries! Twain also intended that his autobiography should serve as a model for future writers because of its unique form and method. He sought to constantly bring the past and present face to face so that the resultant sparks would light a fire of interest in his readers. With this aim in mind, the book is structured in an extremely loose chronological order, switching back and forth in time, relating episodes that are not connected sequentially with each other yet remaining wonderfully interesting, like a colorful mosaic of experiences. Which is how Twain felt life should be portrayed. Brimming with Twain's own brand of irreverent humor, the book begins with an attempt to trace his ancestors, the Clemenses, to Civil War England. He plunges next into a hilarious account of his early experiences as an author in New York in 1867 and then leaps into a wonderfully evocative retelling of his childhood in Hannibal, Missouri in 1849, on the banks of the Mississippi. These experiences formed the basis of his immortal Tom Sawyer/ Huckleberry Finn books. Further chapters describe meeting writers like Bret Harte, Robert Louis Stevenson an...

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