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About the book
  • Published: 25 April 1985
  • ISBN: 9780140390506
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $22.99

Life On The Mississippi


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This is Mark Twain's description of life on the Mississippi River, with observations and anecdotes about the culture and society along the river valley. It includes character sketches, historical facts, information and reminiscences of Twain's boyhood and experiences as a steam-boat pilot. Part travel book, part autobiography, and part social commentary, Life on the Mississippi is a memoir of the cub pilot's apprenticeship, a record of Twain's return to the river and to Hannibal as an adult, a meditation on the harsh vagaries of nature, and a study of the varied and sometimes violent activities engaged in by those who live on the river's shores.

  • Pub date: 25 April 1985
  • ISBN: 9780140390506
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Mark Twain

Mark Twain's real name was Sam Clemens, and he was born in 1835 in a small town on the Mississippi, one of seven children. He smoked cigars at the age of eight, and aged nine he stowed away on a steamboat. He left school at 11 and worked at a grocery store, a bookstore, a blacksmith's and a newspaper, where he was allowed to write his own stories (not all of them true). He then worked on a steamboat, where he got the name 'Mark Twain' (from the call given by the boat's pilot when their boat is in safe waters). Eventually he turned to journalism again, travelled round the world, and began writing books which became very popular. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are his most famous novels. He poured the money he earned from writing into new business ventures and crazy inventions, such as a clamp to stop babies throwing off their bed covers, a new boardgame, and a hand grenade full of extinguishing liquid to throw on a fire. With his shock of white hair and trademark white suit Mark Twain became the most famous American writer in the world. He died in 1910.

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