Mark Twain: His Life and Work
      By Will M. Clemens
      San Francisco: The Clemens Publishing Company, 1892

As far as I know, Will and Samuel Clemens were not related, though they did become acquaintances. The 200-page biography Will Clemens wrote and published himself may have been the earliest full-length study of MT. It was published 1 July 1892 as "No. 1" in a paperback series called "The Pacific Library," price 25¢, and did well enough to be republished in 1894 by a publisher in Chicago. Throughout the book Clemens relies mainly on other writers' previously published work. In the excerpt below he borrows the unflattering and anti-nostalgic description of Hannibal by William Dean Howells, who himself grew up in a non-slave-holding small town, to characterize the world of MT's childhood.

[From] Chapter I

    Hannibal was a sleepy river town characteristic of that day. William Dean Howells, in a brief sketch of Mark Twain's career, says: "Hannibal as a name is hopelessly confused and ineffective; but if we know nothing of Mr. Clemens from Hannibal, we can know much of Hannibal from Mr. Clemens, who, in fact, has studied a loafing, out-at-elbows, down-at-the-heels, slave-holding, Mississippi river town of thirty years ago, with such strong reality in his boy's romance of 'Tom Sawyer,' that we need inquire nothing further concerning the type. The original perhaps no longer exists anywhere, certainly not in Hannibal, which has grown into a flourishing little city. The morality of the place was the morality of a slave-holding community, fierce, arrogant, onesided; the religion was Calvinism in various phases, with its predestinate aristocracy of saints and its rabble of hopeless sinners. Doubtless young Clemens escaped neither of the opposing influences wholly. His people, like the rest, were slave-holders; but his father, like so many other slave-holders, abhorred slavery--silently, as he must in such a time and place."

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