Clemens chose the name Mark Twain after becoming a river pilot. It is actually a river boating term which indicates that the water is only 12 feet (two fathoms) deep. Mark one, three, and four mean 6, 18, and 24 feet of water depth respectively.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 - April 21, 1910), better known to many as Mark Twain, was a famed literary writer. Creator of the famous Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, whom many young boys idolized for years, he had a knack to make people relate to the characters and get involved in the story. There were many other interesting aspects to his personality that were just as popular as his writings. Listed below are some interesting facts about Mark Twain that you probably didn't know. They include snippets of his life, his works, and his hobbies. Read on to know more about this famous author.
Twain was born two weeks after the Halley's Comet appeared closest ever to the Earth, and died on the day that it appeared again!
He lost three of his siblings in his early life. His brothers Henry and Orion, and his sister Pamela were the only ones who survived.
Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, Sergeant Fathom, W. Epaminondas Adrastus Blab, and Rambler were some other pen names that he used.
The real inspiration behind the character of Tom Sawyer (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) is debated. Some believe that it is based on a real person of the same name, while others say that it is a combination of the personalities of Twain and two of his school friends.
His real-life childhood neighbor Tom Blankenship was the inspiration behind the character of Huck Finn in his renowned novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Mark Twain wrote more than 20 books, and many more short stories, letters, articles, and essays. It is believed that there are many of his writings that have not yet been discovered.
He nearly drowned more than 5 times in his childhood, one time of which he fell through a patch of ice into frozen water!
The newspaper Harper's Monthly, accidentally credited his first article to 'Mac Swain' instead of 'Mark Twain'.
Bermuda was his favorite place to visit. He was quoted saying, "You can go to heaven if you like, I'd stay right here in Bermuda."
He founded a publishing house by the name of Charles L. Webster & Company.
Twain was left in a great deal of debt after investing in a typesetting machine which failed badly in the market. He soon declared bankruptcy.
He sadly lost three of his four children to different illnesses. His son Langdon died of diphtheria, his second daughter Olivia died of meningitis, while his fourth daughter Jane died of epilepsy.
Twain was greatly interested in parapsychology; he was able to predict his brother Henry's death much before it happened, and exactly like it did. He even correctly predicted his own death!
He held patents for three of his inventions - a self-adjusting strap for clothes, a history game, and a self-pasting scrapbook. The scrapbook was the most popular of them all.
Mark Twain was colorblind and could not differentiate between the colors red and green!
He loved cats dearly. He once said, "I simply can't resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course."
He loved to play billiards; his affinity towards the game grew stronger by the end of his life.
These were some facts about the great Samuel L. Clemens, or Mark Twain. He was a very intelligent and enterprising man who was never afraid to speak his mind or do what he wanted to, no matter what came his way. As he once said, "To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence".