Annotated Huckleberry Finn

Overview

A sumptuous annotated edition of the great American novel.
"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn," Ernest Hemingway once declared. First published in 1885, the book has delighted millions of readers, while simultaneously riling contemporary sensibilities, and is still banned in many schools and libraries. Now, Michael Patrick Hearn, author of the best-selling The Annotated Wizard of Oz, thoroughly reexamines the 116-year ...

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Overview

A sumptuous annotated edition of the great American novel.
"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn," Ernest Hemingway once declared. First published in 1885, the book has delighted millions of readers, while simultaneously riling contemporary sensibilities, and is still banned in many schools and libraries. Now, Michael Patrick Hearn, author of the best-selling The Annotated Wizard of Oz, thoroughly reexamines the 116-year heritage of that archetypal American boy, Huck Finn, and follows his adventures along every bend of the mighty Mississippi River. Hearn's copious annotations draw on primary sources including the original manuscript, Twain's revisions and letters, and period accounts. Reproducing the original E. W. Kemble illustrations from the first edition, as well as countless archival photographs and drawings, some of them previously unpublished, The Annotated Huckleberry Finn is a book no family's library can do without; it may well prove to be the classic edition of the great American novel.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
A beautiful book.... Michael Hearn is a splendid writer and researcher.
Ray Bradbury
A beautiful book.... Michael Hearn is a splendid writer and researcher.
Publishers Weekly
Hearn, who edited The Wizard of Oz for Norton's Annotated series, has taken on that formative fiction of American culture, Huckleberry Finn a seemingly transparent work that, as presented in Hearn's exhaustive research, harbors linguistic complexities worthy of an Eliot or a Joyce. In his long introduction, Hearn chronicles Huck's publishing history, from its on-again, off-again composition, to Twain's stormy relationship with his publishers, to the book's embattled trip to the printer (trailing censorious editors in its wake) and its instant success on the market. Hearn offers a thorough cataloguing of the book's critical reception and many controversies, an ample pinch of biography, a lengthy analysis of dialect and a fairly sketchy historical background. The notes themselves (presented alongside the text) are eclectic, sometimes charmingly so: we learn what a huckleberry is, and a sugar-hogshead, and how corn pone is made. Huck's vast repertory of Southern superstitions is carefully glossed, and Hearn wisely includes quotes about the book from Twain (who could scarcely open his mouth without saying something funny) whenever possible. The notes go overboard in their extensive translation of the book's idiomatic speech (readers probably don't need "powwow" defined and can figure out for themselves that "hoss" means horse). On the whole, Hearn supplies interesting information with a light touch possibly too light in the last third of the book, which seems more thinly annotated than the beginning. Restored passages not seen in the original appear in the appendices. Though a stronger anchor in cultural history could have made this volume better, this liberally illustrated and beautifullydesigned book offers many pleasures for the general reader. (Oct.) Forecast: This is the perfect gift book for all of Huck's fans and should sell very well with the aid of a six-city author tour and national media appearances. Also, in January 2002, a Ken Burns series on Twain will air. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Having given us The Annotated Wizard of Oz, Michael Patrick Hearn illuminates another American favorite. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393020397
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Series: The Annotated Bks.
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 591,727
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), best known to the world by his pen-name Mark Twain, was an author and humorist, noted for his novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), which has been called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876, among many others.

Edward Winsor Kemble (1861–1933) was born in Sacramento, California. An American cartoonist and illustrator, Kemble was commissioned by Mark Twain to illustrate the original edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He also created political cartoons and other illustrations for newspapers and magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, The New York Daily Graphic, and Life.

Michael Patrick Hearn has written for the New York Times, The Nation, and many other publications. His books include From the Silver Age to Stalin: Russian Children's Book Illustration and The Porcelain Cat; he has edited The Victorian Fairy Tale Book, The Annotated Wizard of Oz, The Annotated Christmas Carol, and The Annotated Huckleberry Finn. Hearn lives in New York City.

Biography

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri; his family moved to the port town of Hannibal four years later. His father, an unsuccessful farmer, died when Twain was eleven. Soon afterward the boy began working as an apprentice printer, and by age sixteen he was writing newspaper sketches. He left Hannibal at eighteen to work as an itinerant printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. From 1857 to 1861 he worked on Mississippi steamboats, advancing from cub pilot to licensed pilot.

After river shipping was interrupted by the Civil War, Twain headed west with his brother Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the Nevada Territory. Settling in Carson City, he tried his luck at prospecting and wrote humorous pieces for a range of newspapers. Around this time he first began using the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a riverboat term. Relocating to San Francisco, he became a regular newspaper correspondent and a contributor to the literary magazine the Golden Era. He made a five-month journey to Hawaii in 1866 and the following year traveled to Europe to report on the first organized tourist cruise. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) consolidated his growing reputation as humorist and lecturer.

After his marriage to Livy Langdon, Twain settled first in Buffalo, New York, and then for two decades in Hartford, Connecticut. His European sketches were expanded into The Innocents Abroad (1869), followed by Roughing It (1872), an account of his Western adventures; both were enormously successful. Twain's literary triumphs were offset by often ill-advised business dealings (he sank thousands of dollars, for instance, in a failed attempt to develop a new kind of typesetting machine, and thousands more into his own ultimately unsuccessful publishing house) and unrestrained spending that left him in frequent financial difficulty, a pattern that was to persist throughout his life.

Following The Gilded Age (1873), written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, Twain began a literary exploration of his childhood memories of the Mississippi, resulting in a trio of masterpieces --The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), on which he had been working for nearly a decade. Another vein, of historical romance, found expression in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), the satirical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), while he continued to draw on his travel experiences in A Tramp Abroad (1880) and Following the Equator (1897). His close associates in these years included William Dean Howells, Bret Harte, and George Washington Cable, as well as the dying Ulysses S. Grant, whom Twain encouraged to complete his memoirs, published by Twain's publishing company in 1885.

For most of the 1890s Twain lived in Europe, as his life took a darker turn with the death of his daughter Susy in 1896 and the worsening illness of his daughter Jean. The tone of Twain's writing also turned progressively more bitter. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a detective story hinging on the consequences of slavery, was followed by powerful anti-imperialist and anticolonial statements such as 'To the Person Sitting in Darkness' (1901), 'The War Prayer' (1905), and 'King Leopold's Soliloquy' (1905), and by the pessimistic sketches collected in the privately published What Is Man? (1906). The unfinished novel The Mysterious Stranger was perhaps the most uncompromisingly dark of all Twain's later works. In his last years, his financial troubles finally resolved, Twain settled near Redding, Connecticut, and died in his mansion, Stormfield, on April 21, 1910.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens (real name); Sieur Louis de Conte
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1835
    2. Place of Birth:
      Florida, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      April 21, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Redding, Connecticut

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


You don't know about me, without you have read a book by the name of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied, one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly—Tom's Aunt Polly, she is—and Mary, and the Widow Douglas, is all told about in that book—which is mostly a true book; with some stretchers, as I said before.

    Now the way that the book winds up, is this: Tom and me found the money that the robbers hid in the cave, and it made us rich. We got six thousand dollars apiece—all gold. It was an awful sight of money when it was piled up. Well, Judge Thatcher, he took it and put it out at interest, and it fetched us a dollar a day apiece, all the year round—more than a body could tell what to do with. The Widow Douglas, she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer, I lit out. I got into my old rags, and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer, he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So I went back.

    The widow she cried over me, and called me a poorlost lamb, and she called me a lot of other names, too, but she never meant no harm by it. She put me in them new clothes again, and I couldn't do nothing but sweat and sweat, and feel all cramped up. Well, then, the old thing commenced again. The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to come to time. When you got to the table you couldn't go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn't really anything the matter with them. That is, nothing only everything was cooked by itself. In a barrel of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better.

    After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers; and I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by-and-by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time; so then I didn't care no more about him; because I don't take no stock in dead people.

    Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she wouldn't. She said it was a mean practice and wasn't clean, and I must try to not do it any more. That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don't know nothing about it. Here she was a bothering about Moses, which was no kin to her, and no use to anybody, being gone, you see, yet finding a power of fault with me for doing a thing that had some good in it. And she took snuff too; of course that was all right, because she done it herself.

    Her sister, Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on, had just come to live with her, and took a set at me now, with a spelling-book. She worked me middling hard for about an hour, and then the widow made her ease up. I couldn't stood it much longer. Then for an hour it was deadly dull, and I was fidgety. Miss Watson would say, "Don't put your feet up there, Huckleberry;" and "don't scrunch up like that, Huckleberry—set up straight;" and pretty soon she would say, "Don't gap and stretch like that, Huckleberry—why don't you try to behave?" Then she told me all about the bad place, and I said I wished I was there. She got mad, then, but I didn't mean no harm. All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change, I warn't particular. She said it was wicked to say what I said; said she wouldn't say it for the whole world; she was going to live so as to go to the good place. Well, I couldn't see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn't try for it. But I never said so, because it would only make trouble, and wouldn't do no good.

    Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn't think much of it. But I never said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and, she said, not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together.

    Miss Watson she kept pecking at me, and it got tiresome and lonesome. By-and-by they fetched the niggers in and had prayers, and then everybody was off to bed. I went up to my room with a piece of candle and put it on the table. Then I set down in a chair by the window and tried to think of something cheerful, but it warn't no use. I felt so lonesome I most wished I was dead. The stars was shining, and the leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper something to me and I couldn't make out what it was, and so it made the cold shivers run over me. Then away out in the woods I heard that kind of a sound that a ghost makes when it wants to tell about something that's on its mind and can't make itself understood, and so can't rest easy in its grave and has to go about that way every night grieving. I got so down-hearted and scared, I did wish I had some company. Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriveled up. I didn't need anybody to tell me that that was an awful bad sign and would fetch me some bad luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off of me. I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my breast every time; and then I tied up a little lock of my hair with a thread to keep witches away. But I hadn't no confidence. You do that when you've lost a horse-shoe that you've found, instead of nailing it up over the door, but I hadn't ever heard anybody say it was any way to keep off bad luck when you'd killed a spider.

    I set down again, a shaking all over, and got out my pipe for a smoke; for the house was all as still as death, now, and so the widow wouldn't know. Well, after a long time I heard the clock away off in the town go boom—boom—boom—twelve licks—and all still again—stiller than ever. Pretty soon I heard a twig snap, down in the dark amongst the trees—something was a stirring. I set still and listened. Directly I could just barely hear a "me-yow! me-yow!" down there. That was good! Says I, "me-yow! me-yow!" as soft as I could, and then I put out the light and scrambled out of the window onto the shed. Then I slipped down to the ground and crawled in amongst the trees, and sure enough there was Tom Sawyer waiting for me.


Excerpted from The Annotated Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Copyright © 2001 by Michael Patrick Hearn. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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Table of Contents

Introduction to The Annotated Huckleberry Finn xiii
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 1
Chapter I9
Civilizing Huck
Miss Watson
Tom Sawyer Waits
Chapter II9
The Boys Escape Jim
Tom Sawyer's Gang
Deep-laid Plans
Chapter III27
A Good Going-over
Grace Triumphant
"One of Tom Sawyer's Lies"
Chapter IV47
Huck and the Judge
Superstition
Chapter V53
Huck's Father
The Fond Parent
Reform
Chapter VI59
He Went for Judge Thatcher
Huck Decides to Leave
Political Economy
Thrashing Around
Chapter VII71
Laying for Him
Locked in the Cabin
Sinking the Body
Resting
Chapter VIII79
Sleeping in the Woods
Raising the Dead
Exploring the Island
Finding Jim
Jim's Escape
Signs
"Balum"
Chapter IX97
The Cave
The Floating House
Chapter X104
The Find
Old Hank Bunker
In Disguise
Chapter XI110
Huck and the Woman
The Search
Prevarication
Going to Goshen
Chapter XII120
Slow Navigation
Borrowing Things
Boarding the Wreck
The Plotters
Hunting for the Boat
Chapter XIII130
Escaping from the Wreck
The Watchman
Sinking
Chapter XIV137
A General Good Time
The Harem
French
Chapter XV144
Huck Loses the Raft
In the Fog
Huck Finds the Raft
Trash
Chapter XVI152
Expectations
A White Lie
Floating Currency
Running by Cairo
Swimming Ashore
Chapter XVII165
An Evening Call
The Farm in Arkansaw
Interior Decorations
Stephen Dowling Bots
Poetical Effusions
Chapter XVIII183
Col. Grangerford
Aristocracy
Feuds
The Testament
Recovering the Raft
The Woodpile
Pork and Cabbage
Chapter XIX201
Tying Up Day-times
An Astronomical Theory
Running a Temperance Revival
The Duke of Bridgewater
The Troubles of Royalty
Chapter XX224
Huck Explains
Laying Out a Campaign
Working the Campmeeting
A Pirate at the Camp-meeting
The Duke as a Printer
Chapter XXI240
Sword Exercise
Hamlet's Soliloquy
They Loafed Around Town
A Lazy Town
Old Boggs
Dead
Chapter XXII254
Sherburn
Attending the Circus
Intoxication in the Ring
The Thrilling Tragedy
Chapter XXIII264
"Sold"
Royal Comparisons
Jim Gets Homesick
Chapter XXIV273
Jim in Royal Robes
They Take a Passenger
Getting Information
Family Grief
Chapter XXV281
Is It Them?
Sing the "Doxolojer"
Awful Square
Funeral Orgies
A Bad Investment
Chapter XXVI291
A Pious King
The King's Clergy
She Asked His Pardon
Hiding in the Room
Huck Takes the Money
Chapter XXVII301
The Funeral
Satisfying Curiosity
Suspicious of Huck
Quick Sales and Small Profits
Chapter XXVIII310
The Trip to England
"The Brute!"
Mary Jane Decides to Leave
Huck Parting with Mary Jane
Mumps
The Opposition Line
Chapter XXIX322
Contested Relationship
The King Explains the Loss
A Question of Handwriting
Digging Up the Corpse
Huck Escapes
Chapter XXX334
The King Went for Him
A Royal Row
Powerful Mellow
Chapter XXXI338
Ominous Plans
News from Jim
Old Recollections
A Sheep Story
Valuable Information
Chapter XXXII349
Still and Sunday-like
Mistaken Identity
Up a Stump
In a Dilemma
Chapter XXXIII358
A Nigger Stealer
Southern Hospitality
A Pretty Long Blessing
Tar and Feathers
Chapter XXXIV367
The Hut by the Ash-hopper
Outrageous
Climbing the Lightning Rod
Troubled with Witches
Chapter XXXV374
Escaping Properly
Dark Schemes
Discrimination in Stealing
A Deep Hole
Chapter XXXVI384
The Lighting Rod
His Level Best
A Bequest to Posterity
A High Figure
Chapter XXXVII391
The Last Shirt
Mooning Around
Sailing Orders
The Witch Pie
Chapter XXXVIII399
The Coat of Arms
A Skilled Superintendent
Unpleasant Glory
A Tearful Subject
Chapter XXXIX407
Rats
Lively Bed-fellows
The Straw Dummy
Chapter XL414
Fishing
The Vigilance Committee
A Lively Run
Jim Advises a Doctor
Chapter XLI423
The Doctor
Uncle Silas
Sister Hotchkiss
Aunt Sally in Trouble
Chapter XLII432
Tom Sawyer Wounded
The Doctor's Story
Tom Confesses
Aunt Polly Arrives
"Hand Out Them Letters"
Chapter the Last 442
Out of Bondage
Paying the Captive
Yours Truly, Huck Finn
Appendix A "Jim and the Dead Man" 447
Appendix B The "Raft Episode" 452
An Unpublished Chapter
"Give Us a Rest"
The Corpse-Maker Crows
"The Child of Calamity"
They Both Weaken
Little Davy Steps In
After the Battle
Ed's Adventures
Something Queer
A Haunted Barrel
It Brings a Storm
The Barrel Pursues
Killed by Lightning
Allbright Atones
Ed Gets Mad
Snake or Boy?
"Snake Him Out"
Some Lively Lying
Off and Overboard
Bibliography 471
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