When a murder takes place in Dawson's Landing, Missouri, the lives of twin Italian noblemen, the courageous slave Roxy, her 1/32nd black son who has been raised white, and a failing lawyer with an intense interest in the science of fingerprinting become tangled. The unsolved riddle at the heart of Pudd nhead Wilson" is less the identity of the murderer than it is the question of whether nature or nurture makes the man. In his introduction, Werner Sollors illuminates the complex web of uncertainty that is the switched-and-doubled-identity world of Twain's novel. This edition follows the text of the 1899 De Luxe edition and for the first time reprints all the E. W. Kemble illustrations that accompanied it.
Since 1959 The John Harvard Library has been instrumental in publishing essential American writings in authoritative editions.
About the Author
Mark Twain was born in Hannibal, Missouri, in 1835. An adventurous young man, Twain traveled around the United States. He worked as a Mississippi riverboat pilot, a miner, and a reporter. When Twain wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 1872, most books presented boys as purely good or evil characters. Twain wanted his boy hero, Tom Sawyer, to be a real boy, so he based the book on his own boyhood adventures in Missouri.
Werner Sollors is Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature and Professor of Afro-American Studies and Chair of the History of American Civilization Program at Harvard University. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including "The Multilingual Anthology of American Literature", "Theories of Ethnicity: A Classical Reader", and "Multilingual America: Transnationalism, Ethnicity, and the Languages of American Literature", all available from NYU Press.