Mark Twain Biography | Author of The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

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The son of John Marshall Clemens, a judge, and Jane Lampton Clemens in Hannibal, Missouri, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910) adopted the pseudonym Mark Twain when he began to write professionally. Before beginning his literary career, Clemens held diverse jobs, ranging from riverboat pilot and occasional gold-miner to journeyman printer and journalist. He spent much of his early adulthood traveling up and down the Mississippi River by steamboat and throughout the western frontier with his brother Orion, who became Nevada's secretary of territory in 1861.

Clemens's earliest works include a series of letters published in regional newspapers that reported the risk and adventure of life on the frontier. Sensing America's appetite for "news," especially the sensational kind, Clemens often peppered his reports with outlandish hoaxes and tall tales, which often caused controversy as readers assumed they were true. A headline Clemens wrote in 1853 for his brother's Hannibal newspaper, Journal, evinces...

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This section contains 466 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.