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Top 10 Mark Twain Books


Mark Twain (1835-1910), pseudonym for Samuel Langhorne Clemens, is considered one of the greatest American writers. He's famous for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), along with stories, essays, articles, and more. Read more about Mark Twain.

1. Mark Twain: An Illustrated Biography

by Geoffrey C. Ward, Dayton Duncan, and Ken Burns. Knopf. This book is a companion to the PBS television series. The book is available in hardback, on cassette, and on CD.

2. The Autobiography of Mark Twain

by Mark Twain, Charles Neider (Editor). HarperPerennial. Charles Neider writes in his introduction, "Mark Twain's autobiography is a classic of American letters to be ranked with the autobiographies of Ben Franklin and Henry James... It has the marks of greatness in it--style, scope, imagination, laughter, tragedy."

3. Mark Twain A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Writings

by R. Kent Rasmussen. Oxford University Press. Mark Twain A to Z features more than 1,200 entries, referencing everything from his books, his family, his friends, and other relevant historical events.
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4. Dangerous Waters: A Biography of the Boy Who Became Mark Twain

by Paul M. Zall. Basic Books/Da Capo Press. Get a look at "Sammy," the boy who would become the ever-popular Mark Twain. Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Zall writes about the childhood of Samuel Clemens, marked by death, bankruptcy, and other events that shaped Mark Twain's life and works.
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5. Mark Twain: A Literary Life

by Everett Emerson. University of Pennsylvania Press. Emerson draws upon his work in his earlier biography of Twain: [ii]Authentic Mark Twain: A Literary Biography of Samuel L. Clemens to create Mark Twain: A Literary Life.
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6. Mark Twain's America

by Bernard Augustine De Voto, M.J. Gallagher (Illustrator), and Louis J. Budd (Introduction). University of Nebraska Press. This book was first published in 1932. This book depicts the social background that helped create Mark Twain and his works.

7. Mark Twain Laughing: Humorous Anecdotes by and about Samuel L. Clemens

by Paul M. Zall, University of Tennessee Press. Read funny stories, which were told by or about Mark Twain. The book is organized with the anecdotes appearing in chronological order.
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8. Mark Twain: America's Humorist, Dreamer, Prophet: A Biography

by Clinton Cox. Scholastic Books. In this biography, Clinton Cox shows how the the writing (and opinions) of Mark Twain developed through his life and his travels.
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9. The Courtship of Olivia Langdon and Mark Twain

by by Susan K. Harris, Cambridge University Press. This book describes the courtship between Olivia Langdon and Mark Twain. Susan Harris draws the story from the letters and diary entries of Langdon and Twain. Chapters include: "A Commonplace Book," "Philosophy and Chemistry," "Negotiating Differences," "Conning Books," and "Marriage."
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10. Mark Twain in the Company of Women

by Laura E. Skandera-Trombley. University of Pennsylvania Press. This book discusses the influence of women on the life and works of Mark Twain. Chapters include: "Polishing Off a Genius," "The Charmed Circle," "Youth and Gravity," "Elmira, Queen of the Southern Tier," "Elmira's Cultural Influence," "Olivia Langdon Clemen's Feminist Intimates," "The Circle Dissolves," and more.
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