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1. Who is Mark Twain?

2. Why did he have such pen name?

3. Where was Samuel Langhorne Clemens born?

4. Who were his parents?

5. Where did he receive education?

6. When did Mark start to write?

7. What do you know about Mark’s Twain wife and children?

8. What was the prediction about the birth and death of the author?

9. How is his grave marked?

10. What are the famous works of Mark Twain?

II. Fill in the gaps with appropriate word or word-combinations from the text:

1. Twain was born two weeks after the .................. ................... to Earth of Halley's Comet.

2.When he was four, Twain's family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, a .............. ............. on the Mississippi River.

3. Missouri was a ………….. ……………….. and young Twain became familiar with the institution of slavery, a theme he would later explore in his writing.

4. Twain's father was an .................. and ...................... .

5. In 1848 he became a printer's ........................ .

6. In 1851, he began working as a ……………………. and ........................ of articles and humorous sketches for the Hannibal Journal.

7. On a voyage to New Orleans down the Mississippi, ……………………… …………… Horace E. Bixby inspired Twain to become a pilot himself.

8. This occupation gave him his pen name, Mark Twain, from "mark twain," the cry for a measured river .............. of two ...................... .

9. Langdon showed a picture of his sister Olivia to Twain; Twain claimed to have fallen in love .... ............ .............. .

10. Throughout 1868, Twain and Olivia Langdon corresponded but she rejected his first ................... .................... .

11. His ....................... was accurate—Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Redding, Connecticut, one day after the comet's closest approach to Earth.





John Griffith "Jack" London (born John Griffith Chaney, January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist.

He is best remembered as the author of novels “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang” both set in the Klondike Gold Rush, ”The Iron Heel”, “Martin Eden”, as well as the short stories "To Build a Fire", "An Odyssey of the North", and "Love of Life" .He also wrote of the South Pacific in such stories as "The Pearls of Parlay" and "The Heathen", and of the San Francisco Bay area in “The Sea Wolf”.

Jack London's mother was Flora Wellman. Flora worked as a music teacher and spiritualist claiming to channel the spirit of an Indian chief. Biographer Clarice Stasz and others believe that London's father was astrologer William Chaney. According to Flora Wellman's account, as recorded in the San Francisco Chronicle of June 4, 1875, Chaney demanded that she have an abortion. When she refused, he disclaimed responsibility for the child. In desperation, she shot herself. She was not seriously wounded, but she was temporarily deranged. After she gave birth, Flora turned the baby over to ex-slave Virginia Prentiss, who remained a major maternal figure throughout London's life. Late in 1876, Flora Wellman married John London, a partially disabled Civil War veteran, and brought her baby John, later known as Jack, to live with the newly married couple. The family moved around the San Francisco Bay Area before settling in Oakland, where London completed grade school.

In 1897, when he was 21 and a student at the University of California, Berkeley, London searched for and read the newspaper accounts of his mother's suicide attempt and the name of his biological father. He wrote to William Chaney, then living in Chicago. Chaney responded that he could not be London's father because he was impotent; he casually asserted that London's mother had relations with other men and averred that she had slandered him when she said he insisted on an abortion. He concluded that he was more to be pitied than London. London was devastated by his father's letter. In the months following, he quit school at Berkeley and went to the Klondike.

On July 12, 1897, London (age 21) and his sister's husband Captain Shepard sailed to join the Klondike Gold Rush. This was the setting for some of his first successful stories. London's time in the Klondike, however, was detrimental to his health. Like so many other men who were malnourished in the goldfields, London developed scurvy. His gums became swollen, leading to the loss of his four front teeth. A constant gnawing pain affected his hip and leg muscles, and his face was stricken with marks that always reminded him of the struggles he faced in the Klondike.

London began his writing career just as new printing technologies enabled lower-cost production of magazines. This resulted in a boom in popular magazines aimed at a wide public, and a strong market for short fiction. In 1900, he made $2,500 in writing, about $70,000 as of 20:40, 10 January 2013 (UTC). Among the works he sold to magazines was a short story known as either "Batard" or "Diable", in two editions of the same basic story.

London married Elizabeth "Bessie" Maddern on April 7, 1900, the same day The Son of the Wolf was edited. Bess had been part of his circle of friends for a number of years.

London's pet name for Bess was "Mother-Girl" and Bess's for London was "Daddy-Boy". Their first child, Joan, was born on January 15, 1901, and their second, Bessie (later called Becky), on October 20, 1902. Both children were born in Piedmont, California. Here London wrote one of his most celebrated works, The Call of the Wild. On July 24, 1903, London told Bessie he was leaving and moved out. During 1904 London and Bess negotiated the terms of a divorce, and the decree was granted on November 11, 1904.

After divorcing Maddern, London married Charmian Kittredge in 1905. London was introduced to Kittredge by his MacMillan publisher, George Platt Brett, Sr., while Kittredge served as Brett's secretary. Their time together included numerous trips, including a 1907 cruise on the yacht Snark to Hawaii and Australia. Many of London's stories are based on his visits to Hawaii, the last one for 10 months beginning in December 1915.

Many older sources describe London's death as a suicide, and some still do. This conjecture appears to be a rumour, or speculation based on incidents in his fiction writings. His death certificate gives the cause as uremia, following acute renal colic, commonly caused by kidney stones. Uremia is also known as uremic poisoning.

London died November 22, 1916, in a sleeping porch in a cottage on his ranch. He was in extreme pain and taking morphine, and it is possible that a morphine overdose, accidental or deliberate, may have contributed to his death.

At the time of his death, he suffered from dysentery and uremia and late stage alcoholism. During travels on the Snark, he and Charmian may have picked up unspecified tropical infections. Most biographers, including Russ Kingman, now agree he died of uremia aggravated by an accidental morphine overdose.

London's ashes were buried, together with those of his second wife Charmian (who died in 1955), in Jack London State Historic Park, in Glen Ellen, California. The simple grave is marked only by a mossy boulder.

Vocabulary Notes

“The Call of the Wild” – “Поклик предків”

“White Fang” – “Біле ікло”

”The Iron Heel” – “Залізна п’ята”

“Martin Eden” – “Мартін Іден”

"To Build a Fire" – “Полум’я”

"An Odyssey of the North" – ”Північна Одіссея”

"Love of Life" – “Любов до життя”

"The Pearls of Parlay" – “Перли Парлея”

"The Heathen" –“Язичник”

“The Sea Wolf” – “Морський вовк”

responsibility – відповідальність

maternal – материнський

to assert – стверджувати, доводити

to aver – підтверджувати

to slander – обмовляти, ганьбити репутацію

to insist on – наполягати на

to be pitied – пожаліти, співчувати

to be devastated – бути розчарованим, пригніченим

scurvy – цинга

gnawing pain – застелена тераса, спальна веранда

hip and leg muscles – м’язи стегна та ноги

magazine – журнал

rumour – чутки

uremia – уремія

kidney stones – ниркові камені

sleeping porch – застелена тераса, спальна веранда

dysentery – дизентерія

mossy boulder – покритий мохом великий камінь

E x e r c i s e s

I. Answer the questions:

1. Who was Jack London?

2. Where was London born?

3. Who were his parents?

4. Jack London tried to know the truth about his birth, didn’t he?

5. Where did Jack London receive education?

6. When did London start his writing career?

7. Who were his wives?

8. What do you know about London’s death?

ІI. Say what statements are false and what are true; correct the false ones:

1. John Griffith "Jack" London was British author, journalist, and social activist.

2. Jack London's mother was Flora Wellman.

3. Flora worked as a music dancer.

4. London's father was astrologer William Chaney.

5. Flora committed a suicide.

6. The family moved around the San Francisco Bay Area before settling in Oakland, where London completed grade school.

7. London was a student at the University of Boston.

8. On July 12, 1897, London (age 21) and his sister's husband Captain Shepard sailed to join the Klondike Gold Rush.

9. London's time in the Klondike was detrimental to his health.

10. London married Elizabeth "Bessie" Maddern on April 7, 1902.

11. His death certificate gives the cause as heart disease.




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