We all know Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) for his famous novel “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” which has been widely known as “The Great American Novel”. But what you might not know is that Twain was also an extreme cigar enthusiast. His love affair began when he was only 8 years old when he smoked “immoderately”– meaning 100 cigars a month. Where he lived in Missouri, tobacco grew abundantly, and cigars were dirt cheap. By the time he was 20, his habit grew to 200 cigars a month, and by 30, he was up to 300. He is famously quoted as saying “I smoke in moderation. One cigar at time,” and “If there are no cigars in Heaven, I shall not go.”
He attempted to quit many times, but with no success. He once claimed that quitting cigars was the easiest thing because he had “done it a thousand times.” His most successful attempt was after he married his wife Olivia. The only problem was that his writing was partially driven by his smoking, so when he quit, he went through a long bout of writer’s block where it took him weeks to write even a few chapters. Thankfully, he started smoking cigars again and quickly got back to the writing desk.
We salute you, Mark Twain, for your undying devotion to cigars and the wonderful books that have come out of it.