Mark Twain Biography


Mark Twain's Body of Work

The body of work that Twain left behind is immense and varied — poetry, sketches, journalistic pieces, political essays, novels, and short stories — all a testament to the diverse talent and energy that used the folklore of frontier America to create authentic masterpieces of enduring value. Many of his novels, especially those written earlier in his career, continue to be reprinted, and none rivals the overwhelming success of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which continues to be one of the most read, discussed, and taught novels in American culture. In one of Twain's letters to William Dean Howells, Twain captured his own view of his life and his works: "Ah, well, I am a great & sublime fool. But then I am God's fool, & all His works must be contemplated with respect."

Following is a publication history of Twain's novels and important works:

1865 "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog"

1867 The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches with the Burlesque Autobiography and First Romance

1868 "The Man Who Put up at Gadsby's"

"The Facts Concerning the Recent Resignation"

1869 The Innocents Abroad, or The new Pilgrims' Progress; Being some Account of the Steamship Quaker City's Pleasure Excursion to Europe

"A Day at Niagra"

1870 "A Medieval Romance"

"A Curious Dream"

"A Ghost Story"

1871 Mark Twain's (Burlesque) Autobiography

Roughing It

1873 The Gilded Age

1874 The Choice Humorous Works of Mark Twain

1875 "Old Times on the Mississippi" (serial)

Sketches, New and Old

"The Curious Republic of Gondour"

1876 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

begins Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1877 A True Story and the Recent Carnival of Crime

1878 Punch, Brothers Punch! and Other Sketches

1880 A Tramp Abroad

1881 The Prince and the Pauper

1882 The Stolen White Elephant

1883 Life on the Mississippi (Chapter 3, the "Raft Chapter" was originally in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The character, Jim, is introduced in this chapter.)

finishes Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1884 Extracts of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are published in Century Magazine

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade) (London, Canada)

1885 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade) (New York)

1888 Mark Twain's Library of Humor

1889 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

1892 Merry Tales

The American Claimant

1893 The L1,000,000 Bank-Note and Other Stories

1894 Tom Sawyer Abroad

Pudd'nhead Wilson

1895 "How to Tell a Story"

1896 Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

Tom Sawyer Abroad/Tom Sawyer, Detective and Other Stories

1897 How to Tell a Story and Other Essays

Following the Equator

"The Chronicle of Young Satan"

"The Mysterious Stranger"

1900 The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Essays

English as She is Taught

1902 A Double-Barrelled Detective Story

1903 My Debut as a Literary Person with Others Essays and Stories

1904 A Dog's Tale

1905 King Leopold's Soliloquy

1906 The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories

What is Man?

1907 Christian Science

A Horse's Tale

1909 Is Shakespeare Dead

Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven

1910 "The Turning Point in My Life"

Back to Top