Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (Everyman's Library)

Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (Everyman's Library)

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by Mark Twain, Miles Donald
     
 

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Along with Blake and Dickens, Mark Twain was one of the nineteenth century’s greatest chroniclers of childhood. These two novels reveal different aspects of his genius: Tom Sawyer is a much-loved story about the sheer pleasure of being a boy; Huckleberry Finn, the book Hemingway said was the source of all the American fiction that followed

Overview

Along with Blake and Dickens, Mark Twain was one of the nineteenth century’s greatest chroniclers of childhood. These two novels reveal different aspects of his genius: Tom Sawyer is a much-loved story about the sheer pleasure of being a boy; Huckleberry Finn, the book Hemingway said was the source of all the American fiction that followed it, is both a hilarious account of an incorrigible truant and a tremendous parable of innocence in conflict with the fallen adult world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn . . . All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.” –Ernest Hemingway

“As characters Tom and Huck have become American myths (a form of transubstantiation achieved by remarkably few fictional creations in the last hundred years), and that very fact indicates that whatever distinctions are made between the two novels, and however many reservations are cited about either or both, Twain possessed extraordinary imaginative power.” –from the Introduction by Miles Donald

Children's Literature - Janet L. Rose
Two of Mark Twain's well-known stories are bound together to show a contrast between a capricious tale of a boyish adventure and a more in-depth study of human kind. Both deal with the innocence of childhood contrasted with the convoluted and troublesome adult world. An introduction by Miles Donald critiques both stories, claiming Tom Sawyer's worth is only in preparing the reader for the truly great novel, Huckleberry Finn. "Tom Sawyer is an escapist novel and...Huckleberry Finn is a novel about escape." The book includes a map of the Mississippi River from Iowa to Mississippi, a chronology of events including the life of the author and contemporary literary and historical events from 1803—1917. A bibliography of critiques, Mark Twain's life, and references is also included for the student to conduct more research. This book would be useful in an American Literature class or for a student writing a report on Mark Twain and two of his stories. The student would have good practice in analyzing the similarities and differences between the stories with help from the introduction.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679405849
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/28/1991
Series:
Everyman's Library
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
608
Sales rank:
258,543
Product dimensions:
5.27(w) x 8.29(h) x 1.32(d)

Meet the Author

Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, led one of the most exciting of literary lives. Raised in the river town of Hannibal, Missouri, Twain had to leave school at age 12 and was successively a journeyman printer, a steamboat pilot, a halfhearted Confederate soldier, and a prospector, miner, and reporter in the western territories. His experiences furnished him with a wide knowledge of humanity, as well as with the perfect grasp of local customs and speech which manifests itself in his writing. 

With the publication in 1865 of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, Twain gained national attention as a frontier humorist, and the bestselling Innocents Abroad solidified his fame. But it wasn't until Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), that he was recognized by the literary establishment as one of the greatest writers America would ever produce. 

Toward the end of his life, plagued by personal tragedy and financial failure, Twain grew more and more pessimistic—an outlook not alleviated by his natural skepticism and sarcasm. Though his fame continued to widen—Yale & Oxford awarded him honorary degrees—Twain spent his last years in gloom and exasperation, writing fables about "the damned human race."

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
November 30, 1835
Date of Death:
April 21, 1910
Place of Birth:
Florida, Missouri
Place of Death:
Redding, Connecticut

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