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Three volumes tell the story of Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain. Twain created some of the most memorable literary characters of our culture. It was Twain who coined the phrase " the Gilded Age". He also spoke out vigorously against racism and imperialism. He was known for his quick wit and sarcasm. Two biographies, The Autobiography of Mark Twain by Elinor Smith, and The Singular Mark Twain by Fred Kaplan, both offer a unique perspective of America's greatest storyteller and satirist. And, Mark Twain an Illustrated Biography by Geoffrey C. Ward, Dayton Duncan, and Ken Burns pulls together over 275 illustrations and photographs from throughout his life. The authors take us from Twain's boyhood in Missouri to his time as a riverboat worker where he adopted his pen name and through his other varied careers.