Mark Twain, A Biography

The Personal and Literary Life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens

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Language: English
Wordcount: 508,231 / 1440 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 59.2
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 1,448
mnybks.net#: 5419
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Biography

Certain happenings as recorded in this work will be found to differ materially from the same incidents and episodes as set down in the writings of Mr. Clemens himself. Mark Twain's spirit was built of the very fabric of truth, so far as moral intent was concerned, but in his earlier autobiographical writings--and most of his earlier writings were autobiographical--he made no real pretense to accuracy of time, place, or circumstance--seeking, as he said, "only to tell a good story"--while in later years an ever-vivid imagination and a capricious memory made history difficult, even when, as in his so-called "Autobiography," his effort was in the direction of fact."When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not," he once said, quaintly, "but I am getting old, and soon I shall remember only the latter."The reader may be assured, where discrepancies occur, that the writer of this memoir has obtained his data from direct and positive sources: letters, diaries, accountbooks, or other immediate memoranda; also from the concurring testimony of eye-witnesses, supported by a unity of circumstance and conditions, and not from hearsay or vagrant printed items.

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nd for those who follow him. And, lastly, I want to tell you that I do not envy you so much, any more, for in these chapters, one after another, through your grace, I have gone gipsying with you all. Neither do I wonder now, for I have come to know that out of your love for him grew that greater unselfishness (or divine selfishness, as he himself might have termed it), and that nothing short of the fullest you could do for his memory would have contented your hearts.

My gratitude is measureless; and it is world-wide, for there is no land so distant that it does not contain some one who has eagerly contributed to the story. Only, I seem so poorly able to put my thanks into words.

Albert Bigelow Paine.


PREFATORY NOTE

Certain happenings as recorded in this work will be found to differ materially from the same incidents and episodes as set down in the writings of Mr. Clemens himself. Mark Twain's spirit was built of the very fabric of truth, so far as moral intent

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