Clemens came to dislike Buffalo and hoped that he and his family might move to the Nook Farm area of Hartford , Connecticut. In the meantime, he worked hard on a book about his experiences in the West. Roughing It was published in February and sold well. Later that year, Clemens traveled to England.
Upon his return, he began work with his friend Charles Dudley Warner on a satirical novel about political and financial corruption in the United States. The Gilded Age was remarkably well received, and a play based on the most amusing character from the novel, Colonel Sellers, also became quite popular.
He also published A True Story, a moving dialect sketch told by a former slave, in the prestigious Atlantic Monthly in A second daughter, Clara, was born in June, and the Clemenses moved into their still-unfinished house in Nook Farm later the same year, counting among their neighbours Warner and the writer Harriet Beecher Stowe.
The obscure journalist from the wilds of California and Nevada had arrived: he had settled down in a comfortable house with his family; he was known worldwide; his books sold well, and he was a popular favourite on the lecture tour; and his fortunes had steadily improved over the years.
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In the process, the journalistic and satirical temperament of the writer had, at times, become retrospective. The continuing popularity of Tom Sawyer it sold well from its first publication, in , and has never gone out of print indicates that Twain could write a novel that appealed to young and old readers alike. Huckleberry Finn was written in fits and starts over an extended period and would not be published until The embarrassing experience may have in part prompted his removal to Europe for nearly two years. All the while, he continued to make often ill-advised investments, the most disastrous of which was the continued financial support of an inventor, James W.
Paige, who was perfecting an automatic typesetting machine. In Clemens founded his own publishing company, bearing the name of his nephew and business agent, Charles L.
Webster, and embarked on a four-month lecture tour with fellow author George W. Cable , both to raise money for the company and to promote the sales of Huckleberry Finn. Not long after that, Clemens began the first of several Tom-and-Huck sequels. None of them would rival Huckleberry Finn. What distinguishes Huckleberry Finn from the others is the moral dilemma Huck faces in aiding the runaway slave Jim while at the same time escaping from the unwanted influences of so-called civilization.
That he did so in the voice and consciousness of a year-old boy, a character who shows the signs of having been trained to accept the cruel and indifferent attitudes of a slaveholding culture , gives the novel its affecting power, which can elicit genuine sympathies in readers but can also generate controversy and debate and can affront those who find the book patronizing toward African Americans, if not perhaps much worse. If Huckleberry Finn is a great book of American literature , its greatness may lie in its continuing ability to touch a nerve in the American national consciousness that is still raw and troubling.
After working closely with Ulysses S. The prototype for the Paige typesetter also seemed to be working splendidly.
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Things did not go according to plan, however. His publishing company was floundering, and cash flow problems meant he was drawing on his royalties to provide capital for the business. Clemens was suffering from rheumatism in his right arm, but he continued to write for magazines out of necessity. He closed his beloved house in Hartford, and the family moved to Europe, where they might live more cheaply and, perhaps, where his wife, who had always been frail, might improve her health.
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