Today is the anniversary of Mark Twain‘s birth. Mark Twain was born in 1835, in Florida, Missouri.
He has a new book out! Not bad for someone who died a hundred years ago.
Mark Twain was as popular in his time for his public performances as he was for his sarcastic remarks on the printed page. Mark Twain was a celebrity, not simply some guy to be hailed by future professors for two or three books that became part of the canon.
But we’ll never know exactly how captivating Twain was in his time. We don’t have access to recordings.
The University of Virginia addresses the issue and offers some audio files by Twain impersonators, none of whom seem to fit the description of Twain as a slow talker.
And really, none of the files are as entertaining as Hal Holbrook on stage, in make-up, spouting some of the more caustic and comedic Mark Twain lines: