Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse but evolved into a grim, almost profane chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, with Huckleberry Finn, he combined rich humour, sturdy narrative and social criticism. Twain was a master at rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularise a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language.
Twain is most noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has since been called the Great American Novel, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. He enjoyed immense public popularity and his keen wit and incisive satire earned him praise from both critics and peers.