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Mark Twain, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1909
Mark Twain in 1909

Mark Twain's real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910). He was a self-educated printer, journalist, writer, and humourist, born in Florida, Missouri, and was brought up in Hannibal, Missouri. "Twain's phenomenal success as a writer came first and foremost because he was very funny," holds Peter Messent 2007, 22). Twain published several masterpieces of fiction. He often combined humorous comment with anecdote, and enjoyed very great popularity as a novelist.

In the 1890s Twain lost most of his earnings in financial speculations and in the decline of his own publishing firm. To recover from the vicissitudes he started a world lecture tour.

During his long writing career, Twain produced a considerable number of essays. He was good at satire too.


1. A man is to tell the truth throughout the whole life

It's your human environment that makes climate. - Mark Twain

Exercise for imagination enriches life. - Mark Twain gist]

2. Prosperity influences people of authority and children alike

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. Mark Twain's Notebook (1935)

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them. - Mark Twain

One of the striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives. - Mark Twain

Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain

The really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. - Mark Twain

Truth [can be] more of a stranger than fiction. - With Mark Twain

Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it. - Mark Twain

3. Many rules and we ourselves have to die, the mainstream tends to remain

Golf [may be] a good walk spoiled. [With Mark Twain]

It's more trouble to make a maxim than it is to do right. - Mark Twain

Adam and Eve . . . escaped teething. - Mark Twain

It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races. Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894)

Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all. - Mark Twain


Good people have a sound moral and tell the truth. It is necessary to be rigid enough that way in order to evolve, actually.

Some good persons fail due to being overly generous and lending money recklessly. Lasting social goodness needs to be carefully managed and protected for most part.


Mark Twain quotations, Literature  

Bloom, Harold, ed. 2009. Mark Twain. New York: Infobase Publishing.

Messent, Peter. 2007. The Cambridge Introduction to Mark Twain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Quirk, Tom. 2007. Mark Twain and Human Nature. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press. ⍽▢⍽ Samuel Clemens' outlook on the human condition changed over the years.

Twain, Mark. 2015. Mark Twain's Guide to Diet, Exercise, Beauty, Fashion, Investment, Romance, Health and Happiness. Ed. Mark Dawidziak. Altadena, CA: Prospect Park Books. ⍽▢⍽ An OK collection of Mark Twain's advice, quotes, and maxims on various topics.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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