Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Mark Twain's The Californian’s Tale. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Californian’s Tale: Introduction
The Californian’s Tale: Plot Summary
The Californian’s Tale: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Californian’s Tale: Themes
The Californian’s Tale: Quotes
The Californian’s Tale: Characters
The Californian’s Tale: Symbols
The Californian’s Tale: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Mark Twain
Historical Context of The Californian’s Tale
Other Books Related to The Californian’s Tale
- Full Title: The Californian’s Tale
- When Written: 1891-93
- Where Written: Europe
- When Published: 1893
- Literary Period: Naturalism, Realism
- Genre: Short story, Western
- Setting: The Stanislaus River region, California
- Climax: The narrator learns that Henry went mad following the disappearance of his wife and believes she will still return.
- Antagonist: The desolate American West, fate
- Point of View: Third person
Extra Credit for The Californian’s Tale
Twain and Tesla. Mark Twain was close friends with the celebrated futurist Nikola Tesla, as the two men shared a mutual interest in science and literature. In the 1890s, Twain frequently visited Tesla in his New York laboratory and took part in the scientist’s electrical experiments.
Cat Lover. Twain loved cats so much that, at one point, he owned nineteen felines of his own. When he traveled the world, he would “rent” cats from acquaintances to keep himself company. He also gave his cats majestic names, such as “Blatherskite,” “Sour Mash,” and “Zoroaster,” just to name a few.