Our popular image of Mark Twain is of a gruV, gray-haired eccentric, the outspoken literary giant who created enduring novels such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
But once upon a time, Mark Twain was a boy named Samuel Clemens. His birth on November 30, 1835, coincided with the appearance of Halley’s comet streaking across the sky. A dreamer, a prankster, a lover of great tales, Sam Clemens spent his boyhood years in high feather,” living out adventures along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. His beloved river would eventually carry Mark Twain far beyond Hannibal, Missouri, but he would return to the freedom, innocence, and vitality of his youth again and again in his writing.
In glowing watercolors and spirited text, Don Brown reveals the glad morning of Twain’s life, now the classic American boyhood, and the forces that inspired his funny, irreverent, insightful, and groundbreaking works of fiction.
With his usual solid research and pen-and-ink and watercolor wash accompaniment, Don Brown examines the young life of Samuel Clemens in American Boy: The Adventures of Mark Twain. The author examines the boy's rebellious nature and the adventures that found their way into his books (the character of Huck Finn, for instance, was based on Sam's friend Tom, who was "ignorant, unwashed, and insufficiently fed; but he had as good a heart as any boy had," according to Sam); Brown also tells how Sam adopted his pen name from a term used by a steamboat crew to indicate the water's depth. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.