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Berkeley's Mark Twain project reveals cache of new writing

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 5/4/2015
Author Samuel Longhorne Clemens, better known under his pen name, Mark Twain, is seen in this undated photo. Twain grew up along the Mississippi River and became a riverboat pilot. He used that setting for some of the great fiction classics of American literature such as "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." He took his name from the riverboat pilot's cry "mark the twain," meaning two fathoms. One of the world's favorite authors, Twain died April 21, 1910. © AP Photo Author Samuel Longhorne Clemens, better known under his pen name, Mark Twain, is seen in this undated photo. Twain grew up along the Mississippi River and became a riverboat pilot. He used that setting for some of the great fiction classics of American literature such as "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." He took his name from the riverboat pilot's cry "mark the twain," meaning two fathoms. One of the world's favorite authors, Twain died April 21, 1910.

SAN FRANCISCO — Scholars at the University of California, Berkeley have uncovered and authenticated a cache of stories written by Mark Twain when he was a 29-year-old newspaperman in San Francisco.

Many of the stories are 150 years old.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1Pi8lG7) Twain wrote some of the letters and stories at the newspaper's offices when it was called the San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle.

Twain's job included writing a 2,000-word story, or "letter," every day and sending it off by stagecoach for publication in the Territorial Enterprise newspaper in Virginia City, Nevada.

He wrote about everything from San Francisco police to mining accidents, all with varying degrees of truth and humor.

Bob Hirst is editor of the UC Berkeley's Mark Twain project and says the articles were found by combing through western newspaper archives. The author's characteristic style authenticated some of the unsigned letters.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

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