The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain
(And 26 Other Twain Stories)

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Synopsis

This version of The Celebrated Jumping Frog contains 27 short stories by Mark Twain and is an historic 1869 edition. It was Twain's first book.

The 27 short stories and sketches are as follows:

"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"
"Aurelia's Unfortunate Young Man"
"A Complaint about Correspondents, Dated in San Francisco"
"Answers to Correspondents"
"Among the Fenians"
"The Story of the Bad Little Boy Who Didn't Come to Grief"
"Curing a Cold"
"An Inquiry about Insurances"
"Literature in the Dry Diggings"
"'After' Jenkins"
"Lucretia Smith's Soldier"
"The Killing of Julius Caesar 'Localized'"
"An Item which the Editor Himself could not Understand"
"Among the Spirits"
"Brief Biographical Sketch of George Washington"
"A Touching Story of George Washington's Boyhood"
"A Page from a Californian Almanac"
"Information for the Million"
"The Launch of the Steamer Capital"
"Origin of Illustrious Men"
"Advice for Good Little Girls"
"Concerning Chambermaids"
"Remarkable Instances of Presence of Mind"
"Honored as a Curiosity in Honolulu"
"The Steed 'Oahu'"
"A Strange Dream"
"Short and Singular Rations"

"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" is an 1865 short story by Mark Twain, his first great success as a writer, bringing him national attention. The story has also been published as "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" (its original title) and "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". In it, the narrator retells a story he heard from a bartender, Simon Wheeler, at the Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, about the gambler Jim Smiley. Twain describes him: "If he even seen a straddle bug start to go anywheres, he is bet you how long it would take him to get to—to wherever he going to, and if you took him up, he would foller that straddle bug to Mexico but what he would find out where he was bound for and how long he was on the road."

"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" is also the title story of an 1867 collection of short stories by Mark Twain. Twain's first book, it collected 27 stories that were previously published in magazines and newspapers.

Twain first wrote the title short story at the request of his friend Artemus Ward, for inclusion in an upcoming book. Twain worked on two versions but neither was satisfactory to him—neither got around to describing the jumping frog contest. Ward pressed him again, but by the time Twain devised a version he was willing to submit, that book was already nearing publication, so Ward sent it instead to The Saturday Press, where it appeared in the November 18, 1865 edition as "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog". Twain's colorful story was immensely popular, and was soon printed in many different magazines and newspapers. Twain developed the idea further, and Bret Harte published this version in The Californian on December 16; this time titled "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", and the man named Smiley was changed to Greeley.

Further popularity of the tale led Twain to use the story to anchor his own first book which appeared in 1867, with a first issue run of only 1,000 copies. The first edition was issued in seven colors, with no priority: blue, brown, green, lavender, plum, terra-cotta and red and is sought after by book collectors fetching thousands of dollars at auctions. In the book version, Twain changed Greeley back to Smiley.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He 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."

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. After toiling as a printer, he became a writer.
 

About Mark Twain

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Harriet Elinor Smith is an editor at the Mark Twain Project, which is housed within the Mark Twain Papers, the world's largest archive of primary materials by this major American writer. Under the direction of General Editor Robert H. Hirst, the Project's editors are producing the first comprehensive edition of all of Mark Twain's writings.
 
Published September 10, 2012 by Balefire Publishing.
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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