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Mark Twain

The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens

Jerome Loving (Author)

Available worldwide
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Paperback, 520 pages
ISBN: 9780520269859
April 2011
$26.95, £18.95
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Mark Twain, who was often photographed with a cigar, once remarked that he came into the world looking for a light. In this new biography, published on the centennial of the writer’s death, Jerome Loving focuses on Mark Twain, humorist and quipster, and sheds new light on the wit, pathos, and tragedy of the author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In brisk and compelling fashion, Loving follows Twain from Hannibal to Hawaii to the Holy Land, showing how the southerner transformed himself into a westerner and finally a New Englander. This re-examination of Twain’s life is informed by newly discovered archival materials that provide the most complex view of the man and writer to date.
Acknowledgments
Chronology of the Life and Works of Mark Twain
Prologue

I. Humorist in the West
1. Life on the Salt River
2. Window to the West
3. Orion
4. Southwest Humorist
5. Tramp Printer
6. Cub Pilot
7. Death on the Mississippi
8. Fetching Grant
9. Lighting Out
10. A Millionaire for Ten Days
11. “Mark Twain”
12. Governor of the Third House
13. The Jumping Frog
14. Vandal Abroad
15. Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope
II. Writer in the East
16. Westerner in the East
17. Pilgrims on the Loose
18. Love in a Locket
19. The Innocent at Home
20. False Start in Buffalo
21. Back on the Lecture Circuit
22. Home in Hartford
23. Sequel to a Success
24. A Book about the English
25. Colonel Sellers
26. Mississippi Memories
27. The Riley Book
28. Banned in Boston
29. The Innocent Abroad Again
30. Down and Out in Paris and London
III. The Artist and the Businessman
31. Associations New and Old
32. Return to the River and the Lecture Circuit
33. Mark Twain and the Phunny Phellows
34. Webster and Paige
35. A Romance of the White Conscience
36. Publishing Grant
37. Brooding in King Arthur's Court
38. Progress and Poverty
39. Europe on Only Dollars a Day
40. A Dream Sold down the River
41. Family Matters
42. A Friend at Standard Oil
43. Broken Twigs and Found Canoes
44. Back Home and Overland
45. Lost in the British Empire
46. Mark Twain's Daughter
IV. The Mysterious Stranger
47. City of Dreams
48. Winter Fantasies
49. Weary Sojourners
50. Exile's Return
51. Homeless
52. A Death in Florence

Epilogue
Appendix A. Clemens Genealogy
Appendix B. Books Published by Charles L. Webster & Company
Notes
Index
Jerome Loving, Distinguished Professor of English at Texas A&M University, is the author of Walt Whitman: Song of Himself and The Last Titan: A Life of Theodore Dreiser, both from UC Press.
"An informative new biography."—New York Review Of Books
“Funny and informative. . . . This could be the biography of the season.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Excellent. . . . The biographer proves an adept guide.”—Wall Street Journal
“Serves up a balanced literary biography of a crowded life. . . . A solid contribution to literary interpretation of the man who infused American literature with what has been called ‘tragic laughter.’”—Publishers Weekly
“Mark Twain: The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens works well for the general reader.”—James E. Caron Studies In American Humor
“Funny, fresh, and informative.”—Toronto Globe & Mail
“Never fawning or apologetic, he sees Twain whole, and as a child of the Gilded Age that he in turn memorialized in literature . . . This could be the biography of the season.”—Salt Lake Tribune
“No other Clemens biography is as packed with historical context and with facts about the author’s life and work.”—Journal Of American History
"Loving’s [is] among the most recent runs at Twain, and bids fair, as they used to say, to be a standard life."—New Yorker
“Loving’s short, sharply focused chapters give the effect of expertly framed snapshots - a form peculiarly suitable for an episodic life full of incident, dramatic moments and changes of fortune.”—Marilyn Chandler McEntyre The Christian Century
“Loving’s ability to weave recent scholarship and older literary history into a narrative . . . is impressive, particularly since he does so without ever losing sight of the exceptional individual at the center of the story.”—Journal Of Southern History
“Will offer fans interesting glimpses into Clemens' life in short, vignette chapters that seem perfectly designed for bedtime reading. . . . Adds to both our knowledge of the man and our ability to read his work with a clearer picture of both the times during which he wrote and the life that he lived.”—Mark Twain Forum
“Crisply written, carefully documented. . . . Loving provides a fresh perspective thanks to his interpretation of new archival materials. . . . An excellent overview that clarifies the complicated trajectory of Twain’s life and career. Less experienced readers will appreciate Loving’s concise, vibrant style, and scholars will value his detailed notes.”—J. W. Miller Choice
“A fresh interpretive perspective. . . . Readers will value this portrait of a peripatetic genius traversing a wide swath of American culture.”—Booklist
“The real pleasure in reading Jerome Loving’s excellent biography is less the literary criticism than the jaunts—first across young America with a young Twain, and then overseas as he grows more established.”—The Economist
“Jerome Loving follows the well-known story of Twain’s life with a nice edging of subversive wit and a focus on one large and troubling question. How, he asks, can a writer have achieved such eminence as Twain’s with such a small number of incontrovertibly great works?”—Financial Times
“Loving writes well and fluidly, sometimes elegantly, with considerable acumen and critical sympathy. . . . If you’re looking for a strong, readable, authoritative, perceptive biography in which Mark Twain and his world come alive, you couldn’t do much better than this one.”—Martin Levin The Globe And Mail
“Sheds new light on the wit, pathos and tragedy of the famed author.”—Washington Times
“Another carefully researched, vividly written work, Loving's biography conducts the reader on a briskly paced ride through Twain's packed life. There are many wonderful books examining various aspects of the author's personality and phases of his life, but this comes tantalizingly close to filling the need for an authoritative, comprehensive, lively and dependable single-volume biography.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
Mark Twain:The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens draws more deeply on its subject’s psychological underpinnings than [authors] were able to do more than a generation ago.”—George Fetherling Canadian Review Svc
“In the wake of two excellent Twain biographies published in the aughts . . . Jerome Loving had a lot of nerve to undertake yet another. But Loving's ‘Mark Twain’ not only holds its own with those predecessors; in some ways, it surpasses them. . . . Never losing sight of the main reason we want to read about Twain -- his literary genius -- Loving brings some unjustly neglected works to the reader's attention.”—Washington Post Book World
“The most scholarly and thorough, offering fresh insight.”—Sacramento Bee
“A welcome addition to the expansive body of literature about America’s most beloved humorist. . . . Loving’s take on Twain’s life will create a new generation of Twain admirers and rekindle the interest of readers already familiar with his works.”—Foreword
“Although Loving's book tells Twain's story in chronological order, and tells it well, at crucial points it will expand its frame to show how certain themes — slavery, war, a guilty conscience, the unreliability of father figures, a pessimistic naturalism — appear, reappear and develop in Twain's life and work. . . . I found Loving's biography to be provocative and well-reasoned.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Jerome Loving, who has written influential biographies of Walt Whitman and Theodore Dreiser, puts the focus of ‘Mark Twain: the Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens’ exactly where it belongs. . . . Loving sticks to the verifiable facts and to what he can reasonably infer from them. The result ably serves any reader who wants to understand the man behind Huck Finn.”—Seattle Times
“Loving writes well and fluidly, sometimes elegantly, with considerable acumen and critical sympathy. . . . If you’re looking for a strong, readable, authoritative, perceptive biography in which Mark Twain and his world come alive, you couldn’t do much better than this one.”—Toronto Globe & Mail
“Very probably the best of the many Mark Twain biographies…one that should be preeminent for quite a long time.”—Frederick Crews, author of Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays

“This biography offers irresistibly concise and beautifully paced chapters that will take readers through this author's amazing life and work—its humor, its pathos, and its tragedy—in brisk and compelling fashion.”—Ed Folsom, author of Walt Whitman's Native Representations

“There has definitely never been a Twain biography so comprehensive in scope and so sagaciously opinionative.”—Alan Gribben, author of Mark Twain's Library: A Reconstruction, and co-founder of Mark Twain Circle of America
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Interview with the author, Jerome Loving

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