Skip to content
Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

News

Autobiography of Mark Twain

Autobiography of Mark Twain

by Benjamin Griffin and Harriet Elinor Smith (editors),
The San Francisco Chronicle, October 30, 2015

Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in Liverpool, England, in the summer of 1907, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) compared himself to “the little skipper” of the Mary Ann. Exchanging greetings with the captain of “a majestic Indiaman,” her decks swarming with sailors and a capacious cargo of Canton spices, the skipper identified his vessel as “Only the Mary Ann, fourteen hours out from Boston — with nothing to speak of.” For one hour in every 24, Twain indicated, he was as meek as the Mary Ann 14 hours out, carrying vegetables and tinware. But in the other 23, he acknowledged, “my vain self-complacency rides high ... and I am the Begum of Bengal, 123 days out — and (a sigh) homeward bound!”

 

Read the full article

Read the full article (PDF)