Mark Twain and Youth: Studies in His Life and Writings

Mark Twain and Youth: Studies in His Life and Writings


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One of the greatest American authors, Mark Twain holds a special position not only as a distinctly American cultural icon but also as a preeminent portrayer of youth. His famous writings about children and youthful themes are central to both his work and his popularity.

The distinguished contributors to Mark Twain and Youth make Twain even more accessible to modern readers by fully exploring youth themes in both his life and his extensive writings. The volume's twenty-six original essays offer new perspectives on such important subjects as Twain's boyhood; his relationships with his siblings and his own children; his attitudes toward aging, gender roles, and slavery; the marketing, reception, teaching, and adaptation of his works; and youth themes in his individual novels—Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, Pudd'nhead Wilson, and Joan of Arc. The book also includes a revealing foreword by actor Hal Holbrook, who has performed longer as “Mark Twain” than Samuel Clemens himself did.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781474225380
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 07/28/2016
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 781,382
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

R. Kent Rasmussen holds a doctorate in history from UCLA. His numerous books include eleven volumes on Mark Twain, the best-known of which, Mark Twain A to Z (1995), he revised as Critical Companion to Mark Twain: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work (2007). He is also the author of the introductions and notes to the Penguin Classics editions of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (2014), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (2014) and Mark Twain's Autobiographical Writings (2012).

Kevin Mac Donnell is an independent scholar and a frequent book reviewer for the Mark Twain Forum. He serves on the editorial boards of the Mark Twain Jourbanal and Firsts Magazine. He has published numerous articles on Mark Twain and other nineteenth-century literary figures and is co-editor of Mark Twain's Rubyaiyat (1983).

Table of Contents

Foreword, Hal Holbrook
Note on Citations

Part 1 Overviews
1. Mark Twain on Youth and Aging, Holger Kersten
2. “Same Damned Fools”: Mark Twain and the Deceptive Promise of Youth, Lawrence Berkove
3. Children's Literature in the Nineteenth Century, Lucy E. Rollin
4. Mark Twain's Lifelong Reading, Alan Gribben

Part 2 The Clemens Family
5. Sam and His Siblings, Henry Sweets
6. Sam and Livy as Parents, John Bird
7. Langdon Clemens and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Joseph Csicsila
8. Susy Clemens: Defined by Her Death, James Golden
9. Clara Clemens: The “Bay,” Cindy Lovell
10. Jean Clemens: A Family Reclaimed, Karen Lystra

Part 3 Sam Clemens's Life Experiences
11. A Dialogue on Mark Twain's Autobiography, Victor Fischer and Benjamin Griffin
12. Sam's Boyhood Friends, Henry Sweets
13. Health, Disease, and Children, K. Patrick Ober
14. Mark Twain's Angelfish, Barbara Schmidt

Part 4 Mark Twain's Writings
15. Early Stories and Sketches, David E. E. Sloane
16. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Peter Messent
17. The Prince and the Pauper, Hugh H. Davis
18. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Andrew Levy
19. Pudd'nhead Wilson, Debra Ann MacComb
20. Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, Ronald Jenn
21. Gender Bending as Child's Play, Linda A. Morris
22. Orphans and Adoption, Wendelinus Wurth

Part 5 Modern Perspectives
23. Black and White Youth in Mark Twain's Hannibal, Shelley Fisher Fishkin
24. Mark Twain and the Movies, Mark Dawidziak
25. Mark Twain Meets Generation Z, Jocelyn A. Chadwick
26. A Secondary School Perspective, John R. Pascal

Works Cited
Notes on Contributors

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