Mark Twain, by the end of his career, would exemplify the American ideal of intellectual, social, and financial mobility. Sketchily educated, he rose to eminence as a literary figure, internationally honored as not just a humorist but also both a public oracle and a fabulist. Born into a raw, near-frontier community, he climbed the social scale to a position of lavish respectability as head of a family that would travel widely in first class, although his financial situation was often precarious throughout his life. Alert as a child to his parents' and siblings' declining status, in later life Twain accumulated enough wealth to spend and lose heavily on entrepreneurial ventures. Famed for his novels, travel writings, witticisms, and …
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Budd, Louis J.. "Mark Twain". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 July 2005
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