Life on the Mississippi
208 pages
English

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208 pages
English

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Description

First published in 1883, this book contains Mark Twain’s memoir, "Life on the Mississippi". As well as being a memoir of his time spent as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi river, this book is also a travel book that recounts his journey along the river from St. Louis to New Orleans - many years after the War. A fascinating and characteristically humourous account, this volume is highly recommended for fans of Twain’s work, and it would make for a great addition to any personal collection. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835–1910), more commonly known under the pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, lecturer, publisher and entrepreneur most famous for his novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (1876) and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1884). Other notable works by this author include: “The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today” (1873) and “The Prince and the Pauper” (1881). Read & Co. Books is proudly republishing this fantastic work now in a new edition complete with a specially-commissioned biography of the author.

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Publié par
Date de parution 08 mai 2015
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781473374195
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0350€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

LIFE ON THE M ISSISSIPPI
By
MARK TWAIN

First published in 1883





Copyright © 2020 Read & Co. Books
This edition is published by Read & Co. Books, an imprint of Read & Co.
This book is copyright and may not be reproduced or copied in any way without the express permission of the publisher in writing.
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Read & Co. is part of Read Books Ltd. For more information visit www.readandcobooks.co.uk


Contents
Mark Twain
THE 'BODY OF T HE NATION'
CHAPTER 1
CHAPTER 2
CHAPTER 3
CHAPTER 4
CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
CHAPTER 9
CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 11
CHAPTER 12
CHAPTER 13
CHAPTER 14
CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
CHAPTER 20
CHAPTER 21
CHAPTER 22
CHAPTER 23
CHAPTER 24
CHAPTER 25
CHAPTER 26
CHAPTER 27
CHAPTER 28
CHAPTER 29
CHAPTER 30
CHAPTER 31
CHAPTER 32
CHAPTER 33
CHAPTER 34
CHAPTER 35
CHAPTER 36
CHAPTER 37
CHAPTER 38
CHAPTER 39
CHAPTER 40
CHAPTER 41
CHAPTER 42
CHAPTER 43
CHAPTER 44
CHAPTER 45
CHAPTER 46
CHAPTER 47
CHAPTER 48
CHAPTER 49
CHAPTER 50
CHAPTER 51
CHAPTER 52
CHAPTER 53
CHAPTER 54
CHAPTER 55
CHAPTER 56
CHAPTER 57
CHAPTER 58
CHAPTER 59
CHAPTER 60
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B
APPENDIX C
APPENDIX D


Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pseudonym Mark Twain, was born on 30 November, 1835 in Florida, Missouri, USA. He was born the day after a visit by Halley’s Comet, and died the day following its subsequent retur n in 1910.
He is best known for the novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often referred to as ‘the Great Americ an Novel’.
Hailed as ‘the father of American literature’ by William Faulkner, Twain was a friend of presidents, performers, entrepreneurs and royalty. His wit and satire endeared him to peers and critics alike. Twain spent most of his childhood in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the inspirational setting for much of his later works. It was here that Twain started writing, contributing articles to his older brother, Orion’s newspaper. After a brief, unsuccessful, spell mining in Nevada and California, twain returned to writing – penning The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County in 1865. This was a humorous tale based on a story heard at a mining camp in California, and won Twain international attention. Five years later, Twain married Olivia Langdon, the sister of Charles Langdon, a man whom Twain met on a trip to the Mi ddle East.
Upon Langdon showing a picture of his sister Olivia to Twain, Twain claimed to have fallen in love with her at first sight. Through Olivia, Twain met many prominent liberals, socialists and political activists, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, the abolitionist and author, as well as the utopian socialist, William Dean Howells. These connections deeply influenced Twain’s later political outlook, remaining firmly anti-imperialist, anti-organised religion, an abolitionist and a steady supporter of the labour movement. Twain and Olivia had three daughters, Susy, Clara and Jean, and one son, Langdon. Unfortunately Langdon died whilst he was still in infancy. The family spent many happy summers at Quarry Farm - Olivia’s sister’s home on the outskirts of New York, where Twain wrote many of his classic novels; The Adventures and Huckleberry Finn , as well as The Prince and the Pauper (1881), Life on the Mississippi (1883) and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889). Despite these successes, financial as well as literary, Twain lost a great deal of money through investing in new technologies. His love of science and invention led him to invest a massive 300,000 dollars (about 8 million dollars today) in the Paige typesetting machine. This mechanical marvel was made redundant before it was even completed however, by the Linotype machine, and Twain lost his entire investment. As a result of this, on the advice from a friend, Twain filed for Bankruptcy. Fortunately, he was heavily in demand as a featured speaker, and embarked on a massive worldwide lecture tour in July 1895 to pay off all his creditors. After nearly five years travelling, Twain returned to America having earned enough money to pay off his debts. On his homecoming, Twain sadly suffered a period of deep depression, which began on his daughter Susy’s death in 1896, and worsened on the death of his wife in 1904 and his other daughter Jean in 1909. Twain died of a heart attack on 21 April, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut. He had predicted his death, the day after Halley’s comets closest approach to Earth; ‘It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out t ogether.’’
He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira , New York


THE 'BODY OF T HE NATION'
BUT the basin of the Mississippi is the Body of The Nation . All the other parts are but members, important in themselves, yet more important in their relations to this. Exclusive of the Lake basin and of 300,000 square miles in Texas and New Mexico, which in many aspects form a part of it, this basin contains about 1,250,000 square miles. In extent it is the second great valley of the world, being exceeded only by that of the Amazon. The valley of the frozen Obi approaches it in extent; that of La Plata comes next in space, and probably in habitable capacity, having about eight-ninths of its area; then comes that of the Yenisei, with about seven-ninths; the Lena, Amoor, Hoang-ho, Yang-tse-kiang, and Nile, five-ninths; the Ganges, less than one-half; the Indus, less than one-third; the Euphrates, one-fifth; the Rhine, one-fifteenth. It exceeds in extent the whole of Europe, exclusive of Russia, Norway, and Sweden. It would contain austria four times, germany or spain five times, france six times, the british islands or italy ten times. Conceptions formed from the river-basins of Western Europe are rudely shocked when we consider the extent of the valley of the Mississippi; nor are those formed from the sterile basins of the great rivers of Siberia, the lofty plateaus of Central Asia, or the mighty sweep of the swampy Amazon more adequate. Latitude, elevation, and rainfall all combine to render every part of the Mississippi Valley capable of supporting a dense population. As a dwelling-place for civilized man it is by far the first upon our globe .
Edito r's Table, Harper's Magazine, Feb ruary 1863


CHAPTER 1
THE RIVER AND I TS HISTORY
THE Mississippi is well worth reading about. It is not a commonplace river, but on the contrary is in all ways remarkable. Considering the Missouri its main branch, it is the longest river in the world—four thousand three hundred miles. It seems safe to say that it is also the crookedest river in the world, since in one part of its journey it uses up one thousand three hundred miles to cover the same ground that the crow would fly over in six hundred and seventy-five. It discharges three times as much water as the St. Lawrence, twenty-five times as much as the Rhine, and three hundred and thirty-eight times as much as the Thames. No other river has so vast a drainage-basin: it draws its water supply from twenty-eight States and Territories; from Delaware, on the Atlantic seaboard, and from all the country between that and Idaho on the Pacific slope—a spread of forty-five degrees of longitude. The Mississippi receives and carries to the Gulf water from fifty-four subordinate rivers that are navigable by steamboats, and from some hundreds that are navigable by flats and keels. The area of its drainage-basin is as great as the combined areas of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Turkey; and almost all this wide region is fertile; the Mississippi valley, proper, is excepti onally so.
It is a remarkable river in this: that instead of widening toward its mouth, it grows narrower; grows narrower and deeper. From the junction of the Ohio to a point half way down to the sea, the width averages a mile in high water: thence to the sea the width steadily diminishes, until, at the 'Passes,' above the mouth, it is but little over half a mile. At the junction of the Ohio the Mississippi's depth is eighty-seven feet; the depth increases gradually, reaching one hundred and twenty-nine just above the mouth.
The difference in rise and fall is also remarkable—not in the upper, but in the lower river. The rise is tolerably uniform down to Natchez (three hundred and sixty miles above the mouth)—about fifty feet. But at Bayou La Fourche the river rises only twenty-four feet; at New Orleans only fifteen, and just above the mouth only two and one half.
An article in the New Orleans 'Times-Democrat,' based upon reports of able engineers, states that the river annually empties four hundred and six million tons of mud into the Gulf of Mexico—which brings to mind Captain Marryat's rude name for the Mississippi—'the Gre

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