Mark Twain, novelist, writer of short stories, essays and non-fiction, is the pseudonym of writer Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He was born in 1835 in Florida, Missouri and raised in Hannibal, Missouri. After the death of his father in 1847, Twain took on various small odd jobs to help with his family's financial difficulties. He went on to work for his brother's newspaper as an editorial assistant and typesetter after his schooling finished. From 1857 to 1861 he trained and worked as a river pilot on the steamboats on the Mississippi. This work was suspended with the outbreak of the Civil War and he returned to writing for newspapers (in Nevada and California) and even tried mining. He also travelled extensively both in the United States and abroad.
With regard to his writing career, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches (1867) established him as a humorist. This work was followed by The Innocents Abroad (1869) and Roughing It (1872).
Of his main works, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published in 1876 and The Prince and the Pauper in 1882. Life on the Mississippi (1883) is an autobiographical account of his time spent on the river and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) is a sequel of sorts to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.< A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) is a tale of time-travel, which is set in Camelot and is narrated by Hank Morgan.
Throughout his writing career he suffered financial difficulties. His debts often came about with failed investments, but he would try to recoup money through writing and extensive lecture tours. He died in 1910 having outlived his wife and three of his children. The year of his birth and death famously mark the appearance of Halley's comet.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court: Biography: Mark Twain