Former television news anchor and author Don Shelby will talk about his appearance on the Shattuck-St. Mary's stage this Thursday as Mark Twain.

The one-man production is part of the Fesler-Lampert series and will begin at 7:30PM.

When the choral group VocalEssence presented their "River Songs" program, Shelby appeared in the role of Mark Twain. His portrayal was a hit so he was asked to return to Newhall Auditorium with his full length, one-man dramatic presentation.

He joins us on AM Minnesota at 9:30AM Monday, October, 12.

Of course Mark Twain is best know, for his novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

They were required reading for me when I was in school and now are banned in a lot of schools because of repeated use of an offensive racial epithet.

Mark Twain was the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He was born November 30, 1835, in Florida, Mo. The sixth child of John and Jane Clemens, at age 4 his family moved to Hannibal, Mo.

Fast forward to 1870 when Twain, I mean Clemens, fell in love with Olivia Langdon, the daughter of a wealthy New York businessman. They were married in February of that year and with the help of his father-in-law, Clemens bought an interest in a Buffalo, N.Y., newspaper. He would also write a column for a New York City magazine named the Galaxy.

A son was born in November 1870, but would die of diphtheria before reaching age 2.

He started working on a book about his experiences in the West. Roughing It was published in February 1872 and sold well. A daughter, Olivia Susan (Susy), was born. A second daughter, Clara, was born in June 1874 and the Clemens moved to the Nook Farm area of Hartford, Conn. Daughter Jean was born in 1880.

Tom Sawyer was published in 1876 and has never gone out of print. Twain characterized the novel as a "hymn" to childhood.

In the summer of that same year, Clemens began writing what he called in a letter to his friend William Dean Howells "Huck Finn's Autobiography." Huck had appeared as a character in Tom Sawyer.

He decided to tell the story in the voice of Huck and it took him a long time to finish. It was published in 1885.

Clemens declared personal bankruptcy in 1894, just shy of his 60th birthday.

In 1896, his daughter Jean would be diagnosed with epilepsy and the family went to many doctors throughout Europe in search of help.

His wife died in Italy in 1904. Daughter Jean on Christmas Eve 1909.

The Death of Jean, published in 1911, was written beside her deathbed. He said he wrote, "to keep my heart from breaking." Clemens was too filled with grief to attend the funeral.

He died April 21, 1910.

Tickets for Shelby's Thursday show are $22 for adults and $12 for students.

Richard Kettering will be in studio to tell us more about the Fesler-Lampert series and Shelby has agreed to join us by telephone for a segment of the show.

Kettering is coordinator of the Fesler-Lampert Performing Arts Series, Acoustic Roots Music Series and is director of media services at Shattuck.

An Evening with Mark Twain at Shattuck