Mark Twain's Mississippi: Interpretive Essays


 This site presents original interpretive essays, prepared by leading historians, in order to help site users explore featured primary materials. Interpretive resources include a brief biography of Samuel Clemens, discussing the development of his literary persona as Mark Twain and the major themes seen in his work. Essays also cover historical discussions of how the Mississippi River Valley grew and changed over the course of the nineteenth century.

These essays try to build a larger image of what the Mississippi Valley meant to people in Mark Twain's time; how these meanings influenced his own interpretation of the place, and, finally, how his vision has fed into the many we hold today.