Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Famous American author best known for the classics of American literature Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain was his pen name. He was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835 in Florida, Missouri. He worked as a printer, river boat pilot and gold miner, before turning to journalism. Writing was soon to prove his forte, with his short humourous pieces, his travelogues and later his novels all becoming extremely popular and successful.
It is a perhaps less well known fact that he wrote a horse story, a tale set in America and Spain in the late 19th century, partly told by the horse himself. The book is something of an exploration of man's cruelty to animals, a cause which Twain first took to heart in his similar work, A Dog's Tale. A Horse's Tale was the result of an actress friend, Minnie Madden Fiske, asking him to help support her stand against bull fighting. It was not surprising that the author added this cause to his many others: Twain was also an abolitionist and proponent of women's rights. The book is at times an interesting and humourous read but this is tempered by some highly unpleasant (if short) sections and cannot be recommended to anyone who is easily upset. The book can be read on-line for free.
Despite Twain's success and literary standing, he was not so skilful with money as with the pen, and became bankrupt!
There is plenty of information to be found on Mark Twain on-line and elsewhere so I am not going to go into any more detail about the author or his works here.