Mark Twain’s Life Is Not Mine

In July, I visited Mark Twain’s home in Hartford CT. He was born in 1835 in Florida MO and died in 1910 at age 74 in Redding CT. I’d visited his home Twain Housemany years ago but forgot how elegant it is. “Gothic Victorian” some say is the style. His next door neighbor was Harriet Beecher Stowe. At age 11, Twain (born Samuel Langhorne Clemens) became a full-time printer’s apprentice following his father’s death, and he began contributing articles and sketches to the Hannibal (MS) Journal at age 15. We all know he grew up in Hannibal along the Mississippi River, the setting for his well-known stories about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. During his long life, he was a steamboat pilot, journalist, Confederate volunteer soldier, miner, Twain artworksecretary to the governor of Nevada, businessman, traveler, and novelist. He married wealth–it’s a good thing because several of his business ventures went bust. He filed for bankruptcy and finally cleared his debts later on. I/we’ve probably romanticized his life  though it was likely difficult along the way. Think, too, of other writers around that time–Bret Harte, Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, Edith Wharton, Stephen Crane, Herman Melville and how their lives inspired their writing. Today, most of us do not lead those adventurous, exciting lives, at least not at age 11 and 12. I did make a frog jump once, at summer camp when I tossed a stone to make him leap into the water. I have rowed a boat and paddled a canoe. I did work part-time at a printing company during college. Twain Time coverAnd I grew up in Langhorne PA. None of this is particularly inspiring, believe me. My inspiration for writing comes from smaller events, emotions, relationships, travels, and interior life–a dead butterfly on the ground, making hummer nectar, a friend suffering and dying, riding a horse at dawn, raising kids, gardening, you know, everyday things. Kind of mundane compared to the life of Mark Twain. But we writers grab our inspirations and ideas whenever they come and and let our imaginations do the rest!


About writersandy

Writer, Gardener, Crafter
This entry was posted in Writing, Writing Inspiration and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mark Twain’s Life Is Not Mine

  1. Thanks, Mr. Belmont Rooster! That Mark Twain was something!

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