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Mark Twain
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A Connecticut Yankee 1872-1891
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On Other Writers

“Professor Winchester also said something about there being no modern epics like Paradise Lost. I guess he’s right. He talked as if he was pretty familiar with that piece of literary work, and nobody would suppose that he never had read it. I don’t believe any of you have ever read Paradise Lost, and you don’t want to. That’s something that you just want to take on trust. It’s a classic, just as Professor Winchester says, and it meets his definition of a classic—something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.”—Mark Twain, “Address at the Dinner of the Nineteenth Century Club” speech, 1900

Courtesy of the Library of Congress
Postcard E-Postcard:  
Mark Twain c. 1884
Video Real Video: 56k | 220k  
Hal Holbrook,
“The Way We Talk”

Portrait, c. 1884
Portrait, c. 1884
Courtesy of The Mark Twain Project,
Bancroft Library, Berkeley

“He prized his broken twig above all the rest of his effects, and worked it the hardest. It is a restful chapter in any book of his when somebody doesn’t step on a dry twig and alarm all the reds and whites for two hundred yards around. Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, he is sure to step on a dry twig. There may be a hundred handier things to step on, but that wouldn’t satisfy Cooper. Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig; and if he can’t do it, go and borrow one. In fact, the Leather Stocking Series ought to have been called the Broken Twig Series.”—Mark Twain, Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses, 1895

It is choloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle - keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate. Mark Twain, Roughing It, 1882