Monday, November 18, 2013
Mark Twain, Smiley, Frogs
As Steve King at todayinliterature.com notes, on this day in 1865 Mark Twain published "Jim Smiley and his Jumping Frog" in the New York Saturday Press.
The story was immediately popular nationally and then internationally, giving Twain first fame and the centerpiece for his first book, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches. As a sometime-reporter, Twain had been publishing such tall tales and hoaxes for several years -- writing them as "Josh" until 1863 -- but his frog story was an old chestnut, first heard from fellow prospectors while sitting around the saloon stove in Angel's Mining Camp, outside San Francisco.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: