Mark Twain Statistics

Mark Twain Statistics

  • As of 2014, Mark Twain’s most recognized novel, Huckleberry Finn, was estimated to have sold over 20 million copies.
  • In addition, it is believed that around 200,000 copies are still being purchased every year.
  • Although Mark Twain made a significant amount of money through his written works, he also lost much of his earnings due to investments.
  • Between 1880 and 1894 he spent $300,000 (over $9 million in 2023) on the Paige typesetting machine which became obsolete prior to its completion.
  • He also lost money through his own publishing company, Charles L. Webster and Company, which ran from 1884 until 1894 when it was declared bankrupt.
  • Although the company found great initial success with the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, which sold 350,000 copies prior to publication, its demise began after losing money on a biography of Pope Leo XIII that sold under 200 copies.
  • Furthermore, before signing key international copyright agreements in 1891, publishers based in Toronto were printing unauthorized versions of his titles to sell in the US and Canada.
  • These copies deprived him of royalty incomes, with Twain estimating that copies of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer alone had deprived him of $10,000 (over $330,000 in 2023).
  • Overall, Twain lost the majority of his book profits in addition to a large amount of his wife’s inheritance.
  • Despite this, the estimated value of Twain’s estate at the time of his death in 1910 was $471,000 (over $15 million in 2023).
  • Since his death, Mark Twain has become one of history’s most misquoted authors, in part due to the overall popularity of his works.

Mark Twain books in order

  • In total, Mark Twain’s vast quantity of works published includes:
    • 15 novels (2 published posthumously)
    • 32 short stories (2 published posthumously)
    • 19 collections (8 published posthumously)
    • 17 essays (1 published posthumously)
    • 11 nonfiction works (3 published posthumously)
    • Various other works, including an autobiography with several published versions.
  • The first publication by Mark Twain was The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County in 1865.
  • The title was a hit for Twain, enabling him to gain a significant level of fame.
  • However, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn released in 1884 and described by some as the first great American novel, gave Mark Twain his status as a noteworthy writer.
  • Within the United States, the book is considered required reading in many schools.
  • Notably, some of Mark Twain’s writings were unfinished or fragmented without being published.

(The below lists include posthumous publications and exclude unfinished or fragmented works. Books published in the same year may not be chronological due to lack of available publication data.)

Novels

Year publishedTitleTypePage count
1873The Gilded Age: A Tale of TodayOther Novels630
1876The Adventures of Tom SawyerTom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn168
1881The Prince and the PauperOther Novels256
1884Adventures of Huckleberry FinnTom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn448
1889A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s CourtOther Novels528
1892The American ClaimantOther Novels154
1894Pudd’nhead WilsonOther Novels337
1894Tom Sawyer AbroadTom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn304
1896Personal Recollections of Joan of ArcOther Novels626
1896Tom Sawyer, DetectiveTom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn66
1904Extracts from Adam’s DiaryAdam and Eve89
1906Eve’s DiaryAdam and Eve109
1907A Horse’s TaleOther Novels153
1916The Mysterious Stranger (posthumous)Other Novels126
1931The Private Life of Adam and Eve (posthumous)Adam and Eve213

Short stories

Year publishedTitleTypePage count
1865The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras CountyShort stories192
1868General Washington’s Negro Body-ServantShort stories24
1868Cannibalism in the CarsShort stories241
1868My Late Senatorial SecretaryshipShort storiesN/A
1869Mark Twain vs BlondinShort storiesN/A
1870A Ghost StoryShort stories26
1874A True Story, Repeated Word for Word As I Heard ItShort stories6
1875Some Learned Fables for Good Old Boys and GirlsShort stories24
1875The Story Of The Bad Little BoyShort stories89
1875The Story Of The Good Little BoyShort stories8
1876A Literary NightmareShort stories3
1876A Murder, a Mystery, and a MarriageShort stories112
1876The Canvasser’s TaleShort storiesN/A
1877The Invalid’s StoryShort stories8
1879The Great Revolution in PitcairnShort stories13
18801601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the TudorsShort stories40
1882The McWilliamses and the Burglar AlarmShort stories26
1882The Stolen White ElephantShort stories330
1891LuckShort stories24
1892Those Extraordinary TwinsShort stories44
1893Is He Living Or Is He Dead?Short stories26
1893The Esquimau Maiden’s RomanceShort stories11
1893The Million Pound Bank NoteShort stories20
1900The Man That Corrupted HadleyburgShort stories54
1902A Double Barrelled Detective StoryShort stories57
1904A Dog’s TaleShort stories22
1905The War PrayerShort stories28
1906Hunting the Deceitful TurkeyShort stories24
1909A FableShort stories2
1909Captain Stormfield’s Visit to HeavenShort stories49
1912My Platonic Sweetheart (posthumous)Short stories28
2017The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine (posthumous)Short stories160

Collections

Year publishedTitleTypePage count
1867The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other SketchesShort story collections288 
1870/71MemorandaEssay collections146
1871Mark Twain’s (Burlesque) Autobiography and First RomanceShort story collections50
1875Sketches New and OldShort story collections83
1877A True Story and the Recent Carnival of CrimeShort story collections104
1878Punch, Brothers, Punch! and Other SketchesShort story collections140
1888Mark Twain’s Library of HumorShort story collections707
1892Merry TalesShort story collections99
1893The £1,000,000 Bank Note and Other New StoriesShort story collections330
1897How to Tell a Story and other EssaysEssay collections28
1906The $30,000 Bequest and Other StoriesShort story collections523
1919The Curious Republic of Gondour and Other Whimsical Sketches (posthumous)Short story collections140
1923Europe and Elsewhere (posthumous)Essay collections268
1938The Washoe Giant in San Francisco (posthumous)Short story collections143
1962Letters from the Earth (posthumous)Essay collections336
1972A Pen Warmed Up In Hell (posthumous)Essay collections211
1972Mark Twain’s Fables of Man (posthumous)Short story collections740
1981Early Tales & Sketches: 1864-1865 (posthumous)Short story collections384
1996The Bible According to Mark Twain (posthumous)Essay collections416

Essays

Year publishedTitleTypePage count
1865Advice to Little GirlsEssays24
1880On the Decay of the Art of LyingEssays26
1880The Awful German LanguageEssays49
1882Advice to YouthEssays3
1885The Private History of a Campaign That FailedEssays40
1895Fenimore Cooper’s Literary OffensesEssays24
1897English As She Is TaughtEssays28
1898Concerning the JewsEssays48
1899My First Lie, and How I Got Out of ItEssays32
1900A Salutation Speech From the Nineteenth Century to the TwentiethEssaysN/A
1901To the Person Sitting in DarknessEssays38
1901To My Missionary CriticsEssays15
1901Edmund Burke on Croker and TammanyEssays8
1906What Is Man?Essays106
1907Christian ScienceEssays194
1910Queen Victoria’s JubileeEssays22
1923The United States of Lyncherdom (posthumous)Essays9

Non-fiction

Year publishedTitleTypePage count
1869The Innocents AbroadNonfiction685
1872Roughing ItNonfiction166
1876Old Times on the MississippiNonfiction108
1877Some Rambling Notes of an Idle ExcursionNonfiction78
1880A Tramp AbroadNonfiction448
1883Life on the MississippiNonfiction416
1897Following the EquatorNonfiction718
1909Is Shakespeare Dead?Nonfiction88
1920Moments with Mark Twain (posthumous)Nonfiction299
1935Mark Twain’s Notebook (posthumous)Nonfiction192
1947Letters from Hawaii (posthumous)Nonfiction320

Other writings

Year publishedTitleTypePage count
1879Some Thoughts on the Science of OnanismSpeech17
1898Is He Dead?Plays248
1901The Battle Hymn of the Republic, UpdatedSatirical LyricsN/A
1902The Mammoth CodHumor25
1905King Leopold’s SoliloquySatire95
1906-07Chapters from My Autobiography published by North American ReviewAutobiographies288
1908Little Bessie Would Assist ProvidencePoems34
1924Autobiography edition compiled and edited by Albert Bigelow Paine (posthumous)Autobiographies302
1935Slovenly Peter (posthumous)Children’s Books48
1940Autobiography edition edited by Bernard DeVoto (posthumous)Autobiographies402
1957Mark Twain: San Francisco Virginia City Territorial Enterprise Correspondent (posthumous)Letters117
1959Autobiography edition compiled and edited by Charles Neider (posthumous)Autobiographies422
1982The Selected Letters of Mark Twain (posthumous)Letters328
2010Mark Twain’s Letters, 1853–1880 (posthumous)LettersN/A
2010Autobiography edition compiled and edited by Harriet Elinor Smith and the Mark Twain Project: Volume 1 (posthumous)Autobiographies736
2013Autobiography edition compiled and edited by Robert Hirst and the Mark Twain Project: Volume 2 (posthumous)Autobiographies776
2015Autobiography edition compiled and edited by Harriet Elinor Smith and the Mark Twain Project: Volume 3 (posthumous)Autobiographies792
2017Territorial Enterprise letters (posthumous)LettersN/A

Mark Twain FAQ

How many books did Mark Twain write?

  • Mark Twain’s total number of books written includes 15 novels, 32 short stories, 19 collections, 17 essays, 11 nonfiction works and various other published works.
  • However, some of these works were repurposed for multiple publications.
  • In addition, he also created some additional unfinished and fragmented works.

Where did Samuel Clemens get his pen name Mark Twain from?

  • Prior to becoming a writer, Samuel Clemens worked as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River.
  • Clemens mentioned that he adopted the pen name “Mark Twain” due to this experience, as it was a nautical term indicating a water depth of two fathoms (safe for navigation).
  • However, some people still question the validity of his explanation of the name’s origin.

What is the Mark Twain prize?

  • The Mark Twain Prize for American humor was founded in 1998 and is presented each year by John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
  • The award is intended to give recognition to individuals that have made significant impacts on American comedy.
  • Its recipients have included some of the most recognized comedians in the world.

When was Huckleberry Finn written?

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was written by Mark Twain using pen and notepaper between 1876 and 1883.
  • The novel was first published in the UK and Canada in 1884.
  • However, its first publication in the US was during 1885.

Why was Huckleberry Finn banned?

  • Huckleberry Finn has faced many controversies and various book bans since its publication.
  • The biggest concerns about the novel are with regards to racial slurs and stereotyping.
  • Those against the book believe it can encourage harmful stereotypes and influence societies to become racially insensitive.
  • However, others believe that it should be considered as a reflection of the time in which it was written, providing an accurate depiction of racism.

Why did Mark Twain call it The Gilded Age?

  • Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner used the term “The Gilded Age” as the title of their co-authored novel published in 1873.
  • They used the term to describe the US post-Civil War era, known for quick economic growth and industrialization. 
  • Both authors wanted to critique the social and political issues of the time through the use of a metaphor, believing superficial means were being used as a cover-up to corruption.