Read The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson/Those Extraordinary Twins by Mark Twain Free Online
Book Title: The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson/Those Extraordinary Twins|
The author of the book: Mark Twain
Edition: Oxford University Press, USA
Date of issue: March 6th 1997
ISBN 13: 9780195114157
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 575 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.3
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Widely acknowledged as the greatest of his later works, this story of switched babies and slavery is Twain's darkest vision of race in America. It began life as a slapstick comedy about Siamese twins, but as he wrote, something deepened. "The tale kept spreading along, and spreading along, and other people got to intruding themselves and taking up more and more time with their talk and their affairs. It changed from a farce to a tragedy while I was going along with it," Twain wrote in his frank afternote to the novel. In the end, the voice that comes to dominate the tale is Roxana's, a light-skinned slave who switches her infant son with her master's son to keep him from being sold down the river. Roxana, Twain's most complex and fully-realized adult female character, is a compelling and memorable tragic heroine, trapped with her son by the brutal system of slavery and by their own inescapable racial identities. At his best, Twain is the most uniquely American of writers, and it is inevitable that his best work revolves around the issues of race and of slavery embedded in the American psyche. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson is a dark and powerful novel of race in America, written by the American master.
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Read information about the authorSamuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).
Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which proved to be very popular and brought him nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well-received. Twain had found his calling.
He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.
However, he lacked financial acumen. Though he made a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he squandered it on various ventures, in particular the Paige Compositor, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. With the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers, however, he eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain worked hard to ensure that all of his creditors were paid in full, even though his bankruptcy had relieved him of the legal responsibility.
Born during a visit by Halley's Comet, he died on its return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature".
Excerpted from Wikipedia.