Mark Twain is SUCH a great writer - my favourite 19th c US writer, and better than most in the 20th century too - though I prefer his humour pieces to his famous novels.
I find it hilarious that his novels (Huckleberry Fin etc) were taken off library shelves in his day because it showed blacks and whites associating with each other (which that society was against) and are taken of the political correct library shelves now because they supposedly show black people as Uncle Toms (they don't). He would have loved that!
His epithets and witticisms are perfect, way less smug than Oscar Wilde, way more rational than most from his age or ours. I particularly love his put-downs of Jane Austen:
'Jane Austen? Why I go so far as to say that any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen. Even if it contains no other book.'
'She makes me detest all her people, without reserve. Is that her intention? It is not believable. Then is it her purpose to make the reader detest her people up to the middle of the book and like them in the rest of the chapters? That could be. That would be high art. It would be worth while, too. Some day I will examine the other end of her books and see.'