Mark twain or Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Samuel Langhorne was reared in the Mississippi River town of Hannibal, Missouri.
His father died when he was 12, forcing him to leave school to support the family.
In his twenties he graduated to licensed pilot.
Later, Clemens became a journalist under the pseudonym of Mark Twain.
He was a reporter in Virginia City and then in California, where in 1865 wrote The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
At 35 Twain married Olivia Langdon, with he settled in Hartford.
His life was hard in the final years, his wife and 2 of his daughters died.
Characteristics of the Period
Variations and Departures 1870-1915
What is going on?
The North has won the civil war, the slaves are freed, the South is impoverished, and the president was assassinated.
Mark Twain wrote:
“The eight years in America from 1860 to 1868 uprooted institutions that were centuries old, changed the politics of a people, transformed the social life of half the country, and wrought so profoundly upon the entire national character that the influence cannot be measured.”
In other words, the civil war left America a changed nation.
Between 1870 and 1915 America did experience explosive growth.
Symbolic of this growth was the development of the railroad.
The 35,000 miles of track in 1965 had increased to about 200,000 miles by the end of the century.
In 1869 the Union Pacific Railroad which, in effect, linked America from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, was completed.
In his writing “Passage to India,” Walt Whitman called for a spiritual achievement to parallel the amazing engineering achievements of the age—and he had good reason!
This period was a time of plunder and exploitation, of greedy materialism and political corruption, of financial piracy and labor strife.
Why is this time period called “Variations and Departures?”
Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, and Emily...