Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions:
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...great books are weighed and measured by their style and matter and
not by the trimmings and shadings of their grammer.
- Mark Twain, a Biography
When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also
teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind
- The Prince and the Pauper
commemorating American literature
Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson
Classic--a book which people praise and don't read.
- Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar
You can find in a text whatever you bring, if you will stand between
it and the mirror of your imagination.
- "A Fable"
The index of a book should always be written by the author, even though
the book itself should be the work of another hand.
- attributed by Robert Underwood Johnson, Remembered Yesterdays
A successful book is not made of what is in it, but of what is
left out of it.
- Letter to Henry H. Rogers, 26 - 28 April 1897
MARK TWAIN DONATES BOOKS TO U. S. PRISON
Through the efforts of Warden Hawk and Captain Tupper,
the library for the use of inmates of the United States federal prison
still grows. A letter just received from Mark Twain reads:
York Harbor, ME., August 22.  --Rev. T. C. Tupper.
Chaplain United States Prison, Atlanta. -- Dear Sir: I have ordered
the Harpers to send you their six-volume set of my books with great
pleasure. I would gladly send the other set--the complete one--if I
could afford the expense, but it would cost me $55--and there is no
cheap edition. The newspapers are trying to make me out a rich man,
but the continued discrepancy between my income and my outgo convinces
me that they are not succeeding. Sincerely yours, S. L. Clemens.
- Atlanta Constitution, September 2, 1902, p. 7.
The man who does not read good books has no advantage
over the man who can't read them.
In Nice Guys Finish Seventh, (1992)
by Ralph Keyes: "Abby Van Buren once made this observation in her
advice column. A reader said she should have credited the thought to
Mark Twain. Abby apologized, explaining that she genuinely thought the
idea was her own. Perhaps it was. Although this saying is often attributed
to Twain, no one has ever confirmed that he said it" (p. 111).
However, a subsequent researcher reports finding the quote in a newspaper,
The Chicago Heights Star, Chicago, Illinois, 1 Feb 1949, as a
stand alone quote attributed to Mark twain. This places it much earlier
than "Dear Abby," but with no acceptable confirmation of source.
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