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

Life on the Mississippi

A Library of America Paperback Classic




In 1882 Mark Twain returned to the river of his childhood, determined to write the definitive travel book on the Mississippi.

Life on the Mississippi is no ordinary guided tour, for every page is expressive of the structure, style and high humour that is the very essence of Twain the writer. Spiced with Twain's pungent observations and commentaries on the culture and society of the great river valley, the book is a wonderful collection of lively anecdotes, tall tales and character sketches; historical facts and information; and reminiscences of the author's boyhood and experiences as a steamboat pilot. Life on the Mississippi, in its composition and substance, is intricately related to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In his introduction, James M. Cox suggests that in writing this travelogue Twain discovered the truths that form the heart of the odyssey depicted in his masterpiece, Huckleberry Finn.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

  • Published: 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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