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Pudd'Nhead Wilson; And, Those Extraordinary Twins

Overview

General Books publication date: 2009
Original publication date: 1899
Original Publisher: Harper Subjects: Fiction / Classics

Fiction / Literary

Fiction / Legal

Law / Legal History

Law / Legal Profession

Social Science / Discrimination

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Pudd'nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

General Books publication date: 2009
Original publication date: 1899
Original Publisher: Harper Subjects: Fiction / Classics

Fiction / Literary

Fiction / Legal

Law / Legal History

Law / Legal Profession

Social Science / Discrimination

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781151239341
  • Publisher: General Books LLC
  • Publication date: 12/18/2009
  • Pages: 46
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Twain
Riverboat pilot, journalist, failed businessman (several times over): Samuel Clemens -- the man behind the figure of “Mark Twain” -- led many lives. But it was in his novels and short stories that he created a voice and an outlook on life that will be forever identified with the American character.

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

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Gem of a Read

    Pudd'nhead Wilson is one of Twain's finest and most under-rated novels. It shows all of Twain's disdain for slavery and racial inequality in his beloved South.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2006

    Twain at his best

    This book was so great. At certain moments it made you sad and at others you laughed. And the ending was practically perfect. The characters fit the book well and represented the setting perfectly. STRONLY RECOMEND YOU READ THIS BOOK!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2005

    Underrated Classic

    While clearly not up to the standards of Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, people have overlooked this Twain book for too many years. It has some excellent elements in it. I'll leave it up to the reader to decide whether it's about nature vs. nurture or not. Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar is a gem you'll want to retain some of those quotations forever.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An Unexplored Classic

    Pudd'nhead Wilson is a very interesting read that shows the reader the impact of slavery and rank in society. The characters in this story are structured well and give the story a realistic 19th century feel, including Twain's common "Jim" talk. One of the many things I enjoyed in this book was that every character seems to be as important as the rest; specific chapters are devoted to different characters and their perspective of the story. This story is hilarious and also very serious at times, and is to the par of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. It saddens me to see that only 3 others have reviewed this book because it is such a great book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2014

    Puddinhead it aint

    This is from some of Twain's autobiographical writings.

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