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Old 01-22-2013, 03:07 AM   #1
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Twain, Mark: In Brief ~ Collected Short Works. v2. 11 June 2014

IN BRIEF ~ Collected Short Works (Humorous and Otherwise)
by Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910)
First published 1852 ~ 1923

Mark Twain is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel." Among dozens of titles, some of his works include The Innocents Abroad, A Tramp Abroad, Roughing It, Life on the Mississippi, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and many more.

This is an extensive collection of 540 short works (none over 7,000 words). It includes the short pieces from all the Twain collections that were published 1867 – 1906, selected newspaper and magazine articles that were published 1852 – 1910, and selected writings which were published posthumously 1910 – 1923. A sampling of pieces from some of his larger works, such as “Innocents Abroad”, also insisted on joining the crowd. It includes a scattering of illustrations by the author. With some exceptions for related or follow-on material, contents are arranged chronologically by first publication date, as provided by on-line sources.

As stated by the subtitle, not everything included here is “funny”. There are also thoughtful editorial pieces, heart-felt tributes to persons living and dead, scathing attacks on rival reporters, blistering social and political commentary. But even when Twain is at his most serious, wry satiric humor often bubbles through. You will find quick little smiles and chuckles in the most surprising places...

A tiny taste:
Quote:
In a Sandwich Island paper, just received by mail, I learn that some gentlemen of taste and enterprise, and also of Keokuk, Iowa, have named a fast young colt for me. ... The idea of naming anything that is fast after me—except an anchor or something of that kind—is a perfect inspiration of humor. If this poor colt could see me trot around the course once he would laugh some of his teeth out—he would indeed, if he had time to wait till I finished the trip. I have seen slower people than I am—and more deliberate people than I am—and even quieter, and more listless, and lazier people than I am. But they were dead.
An excerpt from “The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm”:

Spoiler:
Quote:
“Next morning we sent for the burglar-alarm man, and he came up and explained that the reason the alarm did not ‘go off’ was that no part of the house but the first floor was attached to the alarm. This was simply idiotic; one might as well have no armor on at all in battle as to have it only on his legs. The expert now put the whole second story on the alarm, charged three hundred dollars for it, and went his way. By and by, one night, I found a burglar in the third story, about to start down a ladder with a lot of miscellaneous property. My first impulse was to crack his head with a billiard cue; but my second was to refrain from this attention, because he was between me and the cue rack. The second impulse was plainly the soundest, so I refrained, and proceeded to compromise. I redeemed the property at [pawnbroker] rates, after deducting ten per cent. for use of ladder, it being my ladder, and, next day we sent down for the expert once more, and had the third story attached to the alarm, for three hundred dollars.

“By this time the ‘annunciator’ had grown to formidable dimensions. It had forty-seven tags on it, marked with the names of the various rooms and chimneys, and it occupied the space of an ordinary wardrobe. The gong was the size of a wash-bowl, and was placed above the head of our bed. There was a wire from the house to the coachman’s quarters in the stable, and a noble gong alongside his pillow.

“We should have been comfortable now but for one defect. Every morning at five the cook opened the kitchen door, in the way of business, and rip went that gong! The first time this happened I thought the last day was come sure. I didn’t think it in bed—no, but out of it—for the first effect of that frightful gong is to hurl you across the house, and slam you against the wall, and then curl you up, and squirm you like a spider on a stove lid, till somebody shuts the kitchen door. In solid fact, there is no clamor that is even remotely comparable to the dire clamor which that gong makes.

“Well, this catastrophe happened every morning regularly at five o’clock, and lost us three hours sleep; for, mind you, when that thing wakes you, it doesn’t merely wake you in spots; it wakes you all over, conscience and all, and you are good for eighteen hours of wide-awakeness subsequently—eighteen hours of the very most inconceivable wide-awakeness that you ever experienced in your life. A stranger died on our hands one time, and we vacated and left him in our room overnight. Did that stranger wait for the general judgment? No, sir; he got up at five the next morning in the most prompt and unostentatious way. I knew he would; I knew it mighty well. He collected his life-insurance, and lived happy ever after, for there was plenty of proof as to the perfect squareness of his death.”
------
Editorial notes — I manually transcribed some pieces, restored italics where possible, formatted punctuation (curly quotes, emdashes, diacritics), corrected OCR errors, Americanized spelling for some pieces, made minor changes to punctuation and spelling for consistency. Footnotes placed at the end of stories are cross-linked to source paragraph. Story titles are cross-linked to html table of contents. Drop-caps, centered illustrations. Embedded decorative and small-caps fonts.

Edits: Collected in 8 volumes. The first two volumes are early newspaper pieces, written before Twain hit his stride as a writer. Volume three kicks of with the Jumping Frog story. The final volume consists of the posthumous publications. I also created an omnibus edition, but 540 titles is really too unwieldy for comfortable browsing, and the omnibus is slow to load even on my computer. I have added linked alphabetic title indexes to each book.

I am not a Twain scholar, just a fan. I researched many on-line bibliographies, some of which were contradictory; and obtained texts from many sources. If you know of writings that should be added or deleted, please do let me know.

Dive in, the Twain's fine!

EDIT--Uploaded version 2, with 100 additional pieces. I weeded out a few that were replicated in "At Length". Also added linked alphabetic indexes to each book. Now in eight volumes, with the last consisting of posthumous publications.
Previous downloads: 266 omnibus, approx 160 each for individual volumes.
This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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File Type: epub Twain-InBrief-vol08-v2.epub (1.12 MB, 24 views)
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Last edited by GrannyGrump; 06-11-2014 at 10:16 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:29 AM   #2
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Beautiful work! Thank you very much for this!
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
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You are most welcome.

I'm now in phase 2 of my Twain obsession, a collection of Novelettes and Long Essays. (hopefully only a couple of weeks more to finish!)

Thanks for downloading!
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:00 PM   #4
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Your collections are both truly amazing! Thank you very much.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:44 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for doing this, grannyGrumpy. Karma coming your way!
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:25 PM   #6
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Bookpossum, thank YOU. The world needs more Twain fans!
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:14 AM   #7
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Uploaded In Brief, version 2.

I came upon some newspaper archives, and went spelunking. That renewed my interest in this collection, and resulted in the addition of 100 items to “In Brief.” I pulled out four pieces that appear in “At Length.”

This collection is now grouped in eight volumes, each containing about 65–70 titles. It includes some rather elusive items, such as the complete text of the original Visit to Niagara parts 1 and 2, The Carson Footprints, Private Habits of Horace Greeley, Adventures in Hayti, Dining with a Cannibal, Open Letter to Commodore Vanderbilt, Reply to a Boston Girl, and others.

I added an alphabetic linked index of titles, some css tweaks, and a new cover.

Additionally, I have created and uploaded "The Mark Twain Collections Companion Index," available here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=240883
It lists the locations of the 900 titles included in the collections "In Brief," "At Length," "Out Loud," and "At Large." It also includes a detailed bibliography.

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Old 06-11-2014, 09:26 AM   #8
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deleted -- double post.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:28 AM   #9
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:31 PM   #10
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I'll second that!
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:45 AM   #11
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> The world needs more Twain fans!

Daccord. But he wrote so much, and only a part of it is translated awailable.
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Old 06-12-2014, 03:45 PM   #12
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Thanks again for your fine work!
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