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Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.:: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent

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When young Samuel Clemens first visited the nation's capital in 1854, both were rough around the edges and of dubious potential. Returning as Mark Twain in 1867, he brought his sharp eye and acerbic pen to the task of covering the capital for nearly a half-dozen newspapers. He fit in perfectly among the other hard-drinking and irreverent correspondents. His bohemian sojour When young Samuel Clemens first visited the nation's capital in 1854, both were rough around the edges and of dubious potential. Returning as Mark Twain in 1867, he brought his sharp eye and acerbic pen to the task of covering the capital for nearly a half-dozen newspapers. He fit in perfectly among the other hard-drinking and irreverent correspondents. His bohemian sojourn in Washington, D.C., has been largely overlooked, but his time in the capital city was catalytic to Twain's rise as America's foremost man of letters. While in Washington City, Twain received a publishing offer from the American Publishing Company that would jumpstart his fame. Through original research unearthing never-before-seen material, author John Muller explores how Mark Twain's adventures as a capital correspondent proved to be a critical turning point in his career.


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When young Samuel Clemens first visited the nation's capital in 1854, both were rough around the edges and of dubious potential. Returning as Mark Twain in 1867, he brought his sharp eye and acerbic pen to the task of covering the capital for nearly a half-dozen newspapers. He fit in perfectly among the other hard-drinking and irreverent correspondents. His bohemian sojour When young Samuel Clemens first visited the nation's capital in 1854, both were rough around the edges and of dubious potential. Returning as Mark Twain in 1867, he brought his sharp eye and acerbic pen to the task of covering the capital for nearly a half-dozen newspapers. He fit in perfectly among the other hard-drinking and irreverent correspondents. His bohemian sojourn in Washington, D.C., has been largely overlooked, but his time in the capital city was catalytic to Twain's rise as America's foremost man of letters. While in Washington City, Twain received a publishing offer from the American Publishing Company that would jumpstart his fame. Through original research unearthing never-before-seen material, author John Muller explores how Mark Twain's adventures as a capital correspondent proved to be a critical turning point in his career.

30 review for Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.:: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    A little information on Mark Twain’s stay in Washington in the winter of 1867-1868, with filler information about people and institutions of the time. It was not particularly revealing or interesting, but includes material that is probably not recorded elsewhere.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John

    John Muller's second volume about famous personages that have spent time in Washington adds a fascinating assortment of colorful, distinctly Twainsian vignettes to our understanding of the city's burgeoning post Civil War days. Muller has a keen eye for detail and knows how to fill out the bare bones of historical information and bring them vividly to life. He shows us Twain mostly as a very young man who came to D.C. as early as 1854 and then again after the Civil War in 1867, when he was scrap John Muller's second volume about famous personages that have spent time in Washington adds a fascinating assortment of colorful, distinctly Twainsian vignettes to our understanding of the city's burgeoning post Civil War days. Muller has a keen eye for detail and knows how to fill out the bare bones of historical information and bring them vividly to life. He shows us Twain mostly as a very young man who came to D.C. as early as 1854 and then again after the Civil War in 1867, when he was scraping together a living as a correspondent for newspapers from other cities across the country. We hear of Twain's difficult demeanor, how he'd drive his landlady crazy, his eccentric working habits, and his often reckless palling around the city with other newspaper chums, often frittering away his meager correspondent's income on fleeting pleasures, such as a bottle of whiskey. There is also much on display here of Twain's acid wit, which reaches characteristic heights in his fantastic tale of supposedly being hired as a clerk for a Congressional committee and soon getting himself fired, of course, for being too honest and straightforward. Muller adds context with a portrait of fellow journalist George Alfred Townsend as well as a vignette on one of the city's quirky old bookstores, stories that give depth and resonance to Twain's presence in the Nation's Capital. If you've never thought about Mark Twain in connection with Washington, D.C., you're in for both enlightenment and entertainment as you dip into Muller's highly readable book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    David Dort

    Fun, short, and a bit derivative.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Judy Marshall

  5. 4 out of 5

    Todd Myerscough

  6. 5 out of 5

    Juliette R. Smith

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Patterson

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dallas Schiegg

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kelley McNabb

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tarah

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robert C. Cochran

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hussam

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carly Friday

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rose

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robert B.Dollison

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan Burry

  21. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carl

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alfred Krause

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eric White

  25. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  26. 4 out of 5

    MHB

  27. 5 out of 5

    Steven Leibo

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gionna Eden

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeffery Baumgartner

  30. 4 out of 5

    Billy

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