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The short stories include: Which Was the Dream?, The Enchanted Sea-Wilderness, An Adventure in Remote Seas, The Great Dark, Indiantown, Which Was It?, Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes, The Passenger's Story, The Mad Passenger, Dying Deposition, and Trial of the Squire.
All of these selections in this volume were comosed between 1896 and 1905. Mark Twain wrote them after the disasters of the early and middle nineties that had included the decline into bankruptcy of his publishing business, the failure of the typsetting machine in which he invested heavily, and the death of his daughter Susy. Their principal fable is that of a man who has been long favored by luck while pursuing a dream of success that has seemed about to turn into reality. Sudden reverses occur and he experiences a nightmarish time of failure. He clutches at what may be a saving thought: perhaps he is indeed living in a nightmare from which he will awaken to his former felicity. But there is also the possibility that what seems a dream of disaster may be the actuality of his life. The question is the one asked by the titles that he gave to two of his manuscripts: "Which Was the Dream?" and "Which Was It?" He posed a similar question in 1893: "I dreamed I was born, and grew up, and was a pilot on the Mississippi, and a miner and journalist...and had a wife and children...and this dream goes on and on and on, and sometimes seems so real that I almost believe it is real. I wonder if it is?" Behind this naïve query was his strong interest in conscious and unconscious levels of mental experience, which were then being explored by the new psychology.
This is the only authoritative text of this late novel. It reproduces the manuscript which Mark Twain wrote last, and the only one he finished or called the "The Mysterious Stranger." Albert Bigelow Paine's edition of the same name has been shown to be a textual fraud.
"What am I writing? A historical tale of 300 years ago, simply for the love of it." Mark Twain's "tale" became his first historical novel, The Prince and the Pauper, published in 1881. Intricately plotted, it was intended to have the feel of history even though it was only the stuff of legend. In sixteenth-century England, young Prince Edward (son of Henry VIII) and Tom Canty, a pauper boy who looks exactly like him, are suddenly forced to change places. The prince endures "rags & hardships" while the pauper suffers the "horrible miseries of princedom." Mark Twain called his book a "tale for young people of all ages," and it has become a classic of American literature. The first edition in 1881 was fully illustrated by Frank Merrill, John Harley, and L. S. Ipsen. The boys in these illustrations, Mark Twain said, "look and dress exactly as I used to see them cast in my mind. . . . It is a vast pleasure to see them cast in the flesh, so to speak." This Mark Twain Library edition exactly reproduces the text of the California scholarly edition, including all of the 192 illustrations that so pleased the author.
Two young men -- one a child of the London slums, the other an heir to the throne -- switch identities in this timeless novel about class and culture in sixteenth-century England.
A pauper caught up in the pomp of the royal court. A prince wandering horror-stricken through the lower depths of English society. Out of the theme of switched identities, Mark Twain fashioned both a scathing attack upon social hypocrisy and injustice, and an irresistible comedy imbued with the sense of high-spirited play that belongs to his happiest creative period. This version contains extensive overviews of both the author and the novel.
Prince Edward inadvertently switches places with Tom Canty, a pauper. While both boys are interested in experiencing life in the other's shoes, they are dismayed by the realities of their new lives. Written before The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was finished, this tale contains the elements of social criticism that were later to dominate Twain's writings
¿Qué haría un mendigo convertido, de pronto, en el Príncipe de Gales? Qué haría ese príncipe si tuviera que vivir como un mendigo? Esta deliciosa novela, ambientada en el Londres del siglo XVI, responde -y cómo- a ambas preguntas. El parecido físico permite que Tom Canty, nacido en una pocilga, habituado a los andrajos, la suciedad y la miseria, cambie su rol con Eduardo Tudor, heredero del espléndido trono de Enrique VIII. Los dos jovencitos no tardan en advertir que la travesura ha resultado un error. Porque cuando tratan de revelar la verdad (cada uno en su nuevo ámbito) son tomados por locos. Para colmo de males, o quizás de bienes, muere el Rey... Príncipe y mendigo es un clásico de la aventura, llevado al cine más de una vez y origen de muchas historias parecidas. Una prueba más de la imaginación y destreza literaria de su autor, Mark Twain.
At the beginning of "Pudd'nhead Wilson" a young slave woman, fearing for her infant's son's life, exchanges her light-skinned child with her master's. From this rather simple premise Mark Twain fashioned one of his most entertaining, funny, yet biting novels. On its surface, "Pudd'nhead Wilson" possesses all the elements of an engrossing nineteenth-century mystery: reversed identities, a horrible crime, an eccentric detective, a suspenseful courtroom drama, and a surprising, unusual solution. Yet it is not a mystery novel. Seething with the undercurrents of antebellum southern culture, the book is a savage indictment in which the real criminal is society, and racial prejudice and slavery are the crimes. Written in 1894, "Pudd'nhead Wilson" glistens with characteristic Twain humor, with suspense, and with pointed irony: a gem among the author's later works.
Featuring the brilliantly drawn Roxanna, a mulatto slave who suffers dire consequences after switching her infant son with her master's baby, and the clever Pudd'nhead Wilson, an ostracized small-town lawyer, Twain's darkly comic masterpiece is a provocative exploration of slavery and miscegenation. Leslie A. Fiedler described the novel as "half melodramatic detective story, half bleak tragedy," noting that "morally, it is one of the most honest books in our literature." Those Extraordinary Twins, the slapstick story that evolved into Pudd'nhead Wilson, provides a fascinating view of the author's process. The text for this Modern Library Paperback Classic was set from the 1894 first American edition.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Mark Twain's humorous account of his six years in Nevada, San Francisco, and the Sandwich Islands is a patchwork of personal anecdotes and tall tales, many of them told in the "vigorous new vernacular" of the West. Selling seventy five thousand copies within a year of its publication in 1872, Roughing It was greeted as a work of "wild, preposterous invention and sublime exaggeration" whose satiric humor made "pretension and false dignity ridiculous." Meticulously restored from a variety of original sources, the text is the first to adhere to the author's wishes in thousands of details of wording, spelling, and punctuation, and includes all of the 304 first-edition illustrations. With its comprehensive and illuminating notes and supplementary materials, which include detailed maps tracing Mark Twain's western travels, this Mark Twain Library Roughing It must be considered the standard edition for readers and students of Mark Twain.
These unjustly neglected works, among the most enjoyable of Mark Twain's novels, follow Tom, Huck, and Jim as they travel across the Atlantic in a balloon, then down the Mississippi to help solve a mysterious crime. Both with the original illustrations by Dan Beard and A.B. Frost. "Do you reckon Tom Sawyer was satisfied after all them adventures? No, he wasn't. It only just pisoned him for more." So Huck declares at the start of these once-celebrated but now little-known sequels to his own adventures. Tom, Huck, and Jim set sail to Africa in a futuristic air balloon, where they survive encounters with lions, robbers, and fleas and see some of the world's greatest wonders.
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