MARK TWAIN

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         Mark Twain was born in the state of Missouri in the Uni­ted States in 1835. His father was an unsuccessful lawyer. The family seldom lived more than a year or two in the same town. That is why the future writer did not even finish secondary school. He went to work at the age of 12.

         For two years he worked for his elder brother’s small news­paper both as a printer and reporter.

        In 1857 he became a pilot on the Mississipi river. He con­tinued to write.

        In 1876 he wrote «The Adventures of Tom Sawyer». The book was read by everybody, by the young and old and was translated into nearly every language in the world. «The Ad­ventures of Tom Sawyer» was such a success that in 1884 he wrote «The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn», and then «Tom Sawyer Abroad» and «Tom Sawyer the Detective» in 1896. There were many other books written by Mark Twain. But his novels about Тоm Sawyer and his friend Huckleberry Finn brought him world fame. Mark Twain’s real name was Sammuel Clemens. He took his penname from the words «to mark» and «twain» which were used by leadsmen on the steamboats to mark the depth of two fathoms.

         Mark Twain’s stories enjoy widespread popularity. His characters are always well-drawn, his stories are true-to-life and the plots of his stories are skilfully built up.

           Many years have passed since Mark Twain’s death, but even now we enjoy reading his works. Besides being a humorist, Mark Twain is also a realist — the author of biting satires and bitterly critical pages revealing a good deal of the truth about American way of life.

 

 

 

QUESTIONS:

1. Where was Mark Twain born?

2. Why didn’t the future writer even finish secondary school?

3. When did Mark Twain start to work?

4. When did he write «The Adventures of Tom Sawyer»?

5. What brought him world fame?

6. What was Mark Twain’s real name?

 

 

VOCABULARY:

the state of Missouri — штат Миссури

unsuccessful — неудачливый

novel — роман

two fathoms — две морские сажени

pilot — лоцман, штурман

fame — слава

penname — псевдоним

steamboat — пароход

to reveal — передавать, обнаруживать

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