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Mark Twain celebrated by Google

Mark Twain, American author, is celebrated by Google today in a new home page doodle.

Mark Twain is celebrated by Google today. The American author who wrote the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer would have been 176 today.

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on this day in 1835. In his early life, he was a journalist, a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi river and a miner. His brother was killed in a steamboat explosion in 1858, which Twain foresaw in a dream, leaving him with a interest in parapsychology as well as a sense of guilt.

Today's Google logo depicts the famous fence-painting scene from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, where Tom learns a valuable life lesson, or something.

Twain is a legend of American literature, combining social commentary with quotably witty writing. He wrote many of his classic novels during his summers in Connecticut, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 1876, The Prince and the Pauper in 1881, Huckleberry Finn in 1885 and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court in 1889.

He also coined many famous quotes, such as "There are lies, damned lies and statistics," and "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

Twain was born within two weeks of Halley's Comet passing close to earth, and died one day after the comet's next approach in 1910. Edmond Halley, the man who named Halley's Comet, was also celebrated by Google this month.

British authors celebrated by Google include Mr Men man Roger Hargreaves. The most recent authorial doodle was an epic multi-layered animated puzzle to honour Russian sci-fi author Stanislaw Lem.