Twain was born in Florida, Missouri, in 1835 but grew up in the nearby town of Hannibal. Upon reaching adulthood, Twain worked as an apprentice printer, typesetter, riverboat pilot and goldminer before he found his calling as a newspaper columnist, writing humorous pieces and tales of his travels.
He achieved great success as a novelist, journalist and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
Born during a visit by Halley's Comet, he died on its return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature."
Author's Comment: In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.