Life on the Mississippi

by Mark Twain


Life on the Mississippi (1883) is a memoir by Mark Twain of his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War. It is also a travel book, recounting his trip up the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Saint Paul many years after the war.
The book begins with a brief history of the river as reported by Europeans and Americans, beginning with the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1542. It continues with anecdotes of Twain's training as a steamboat pilot, as the 'cub' (apprentice) of an experienced pilot, Horace E. Bixby. He describes, with great affection, the science of navigating the ever-changing Mississippi River in a section that was first published in 1876, entitled "Old Times on the Mississippi".
In the second half, Twain narrates his trip many years later on a steamboat from St. Louis to New Orleans, shortly followed by a steamboat journey from New Orleans to St Paul. He describes the competition from railroads, and the new, large cities, and adds his observations on greed, gullibility, tragedy, and bad architecture. He also tells some stories that are most likely tall tales.
Excerpted from Life on the Mississippi on Wikipedia.

The Complete Travel Books of Mark Twain:
The Innocents Abroad (1869), Roughing It (1872), Old Times on the Mississippi (1876), A Tramp Abroad (1880), Life on the Mississippi (1883), Following the Equator (1897)


person AuthorMark Twain
language CountryUnited States
api GenreBiographyTravel book, Social life
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
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