Twain is widely held to be one of the great figures in American literature. His ranks among the very finest American novels, and both and are also highly regarded. In the genre of travel writing, Twain has also proved a master, with high on many lists of important American entries in the field. And in the more general category of Americana, he has produced even more distinguished work, notably and both of which are prized for their often humorous insights into American life in the late nineteenth century. Many would agree with H. L. Mencken, who wrote of Twain in "I believe that he was the true father of our national literature, the first genuinely American artist of the blood royal."


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