Cover image for Mark Twain's letters
Mark Twain's letters
Twain, Mark, 1835-1910.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Correspondence. Selections
Physical Description:
volumes ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
v. 1 1853-1866.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS1331 .A4 1987 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS1331 .A4 1987 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PS1331 .A4 1987 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS1331 .A4 1987 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS1331 .A4 1987 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
PS1331 .A4 1987 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PS1331 .A4 1987 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order


Author Notes

Mark Twain was born Samuel L. Clemens in Florida, Missouri on November 30, 1835. He worked as a printer, and then became a steamboat pilot. He traveled throughout the West, writing humorous sketches for newspapers. In 1865, he wrote the short story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, which was very well received. He then began a career as a humorous travel writer and lecturer, publishing The Innocents Abroad in 1869, Roughing It in 1872, and, Gilded Age in 1873, which was co-authored with Charles Dudley Warner. His best-known works are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mississippi Writing: Life on the Mississippi, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The initial entry in a new collected edition of the correspondence of the American writer covers the years in which Samuel Clemens established the literary foundations for the man who would later become Mark Twain. Always an avid letter writer-the series is planned to encompass more than 20 volumes when completed-Clemens here establishes a pattern and style of writing that would endure throughout his long life. The present volume covers his years as a printer and journalist and sees him travel throughout the American West during the Civil War era. These letters-most of which are directed to his family-set the stage for Clemens' later achievements with many prescient descriptions of passages and events that would later be enshrined in the history of American literature. Appendixes, textual commentaries, references; index. JB. 818'.409 (B) Twain, Mark-Correspondence / Authors-American-19th century-Correspondence / Humorists, American-19th century-Correspondence [CIP] 87-5963

Publisher's Weekly Review

This auspicious beginning of what may come to be regarded as one of the most important collections of letters by an American author takes 17-year-old Sam Clemens, searching for work as an itinerant printer, from Hannibal, Mo., to age 31, when, established as the writer Mark Twain in California, he is on his way to wealth and worldwide fame. During these 14 years, he travels from the East Coast to the West, working along the way as a steamboat pilot, gold hunter, newspaper writer and editor, foreign correspondent, storyteller and humorous lecturer. Wherever he settlesin big cities, Nevada mining camps or Hawaiihe writes entertainingly to his family and friends about the moods and experiences, sights and sounds he encounters. Reading these letters is like anticipating Life on the Mississippi, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in some ways more enjoyably because of their freshness and spontaneity. Less than three-fifths of the book consists of the actual letter texts; the rest is editorial apparatus so admirably organized and set forth as to become a source of wonder to general readers and delight to advanced students of literary history. Appendixes include genealogies, maps, photographs, manuscript facsimiles and a detailed commentary. The book constitutes a major publishing venture. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This initial volume in the first comprehensive edition of Twain's letters (about half first published here) takes us from 1853when at age 17, he left Hannibalto 1866when at age 31, he was on the verge of a great career. Lively and informative, they are addressed mostly to family members and record Twain's erratic progress from Mississippi riverboat apprentice-pilot to Nevada Territory gold prospector to San Francisco newspaper reporter. The notes included are both interesting and exhaustive, and the volume as a whole provides welcome insight into the later works, particularly Life on the Mississippi and Roughing It , of a great American writer. Charles C. Nash, English Dept., Cottey Coll., Nevada, Mo. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The latest addition to the ongoing edition of the "Mark Twain Papers" and "Works of Mark Twain" is the first volume of Mark Twain's Letters, beginning with a letter written by the 17-year old Sam Clemens in 1853 to his mother from New York, where he had gone looking for work, and concluding with another (also written to his mother) from San Francisco in 1866 at age 31, just as he was on the brink of fame as author and humorist Mark Twain. In between lies a richly documented autobiography of a major literary figure in the making, whose private letters were as engaging and witty as were those meant for publication. The editors, led by veteran Twain scholar Edgar Marquess Branch, have produced a meticulous text of intelligently transcribed, informatively annotated, and usefully illustrated correspondence. All the known letters for the period are included, and approximately half of them have never been published before. There is a wealth of material here that will interest all readers of Mark Twain. All libraries will require this and future volumes, eventually to include some 10,000 letters from more than 600 sources around the world. -M. T. Inge, Randolph-Macon College