Mark Twain: A Short Introduction / Edition 1

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Overview

Emphasizing Mark Twain's ambitions and achievements as a writer, this introduction features close readings of his seven major works, including Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Connecticut Yankee and Pudd'nhead Wilson. It explores these texts in the larger contexts of Samuel Clemens' life and of late nineteenth-century American culture, investigating what the fictional persona of Mark Twain meant to the real-life person, Samuel Clemens, and what Twain's books have meant to American readers. The book provides both a general introduction to Twain's major texts and an original reading of his obsession with performance and personality. It is illustrated with images from early editions of Twain's works. A short appendix directs readers to the author's award-winning website, "Mark Twain in His Times," where they can explore the texts and issues analyzed in the book further.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A concise, yet amazingly rich, informative, well-researched, and readable introduction to Mark Twain's major works, from Innocents Abroad to Pudd'nhead Wilson. In his fresh and helpful interpretations Stephen Railton, developer of the popular website ‘Mark Twain in His Times,’ provides relevant biographical and historical backgrounds and incorporates a broad spectrum of criticism." Werner Sollors, Harvard University

"Stephen Railton offers a highly readable and crisply argued discussion of Samuel Clemens' literary persona Mark Twain as public performance and of the relationship Clemens nurtured and continues to nurture with his readers...A most useful primer in the social and aesthetic impact of Mark Twain's art." Michael J. Kiskis, Elmira College

"Even though Mark Twain (as Samuel Clemens) did die, Railton's book by its very existence proves that Mark Twain still lives, in his works, the legacy of his life, nearly ninety-four years after his physical demise. Mark Twain is dead. Long live Mark Twain!" Mark Twain Forum

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631234746
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Series: Wiley Blackwell Introductions to Literature Series , #30
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Railton is Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His previous books include Fenimore Cooper: A Study of his Imagination (1978) and Authorship and Audience: Literary Performance in the American Renaissance (1991). He is the creator of two major websites on Uncle Tom’s Cabin & American Culture and Mark Twain in His Times.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures
Preface
1 Going East: Innocents Abroad 1
2 Going West: Roughing It 18
3 Going Home: Tom Sawyer 32
4 Running Away: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 50
5 Lost in Time: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 75
6 Looking for Refuge: Pudd'nhead Wilson and "Hadleyburg" 96
Appendix: "Mark Twain in His Times": An Electronic Archive 116
Notes 120
Index 128
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2004

    Great Overview and Introduction

    This book was an incredbly helpful overview to Twain, his life, and his work. I recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the intriguing author, and for scholars and novices alike.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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