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
Shelley Fisher Fishkin is Joseph S. Atha Professor of Humanities, Professor of English and Director of American Studies at Stanford University. She is the author of "Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture "(1997); "Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices "(1993), selected as an Outstanding Academic Book by "Choice; "and "From Fact to Fiction: Journalism and Imaginative Writing in America "(2000), winner of a Frank Luther Mott/Kappa Tau Alpha Award for outstanding research in journalism history. She is also the editor of the 29-volume "Oxford Mark Twain "and the "Oxford Historical Guide to Mark Twain. "Barry Moser is one of the foremost wood engravers in the United States and is the proprietor of the Pennyroyal Press. Among other books, he illustrated "Huckleberry Finn "(California, 1985), "Moby Dick "(California, 1981), "Dante's Inferno "(California 1980), "Purgatorio "(California, 1981), and "Paradiso "(California, 1984), and the "Holy Bible "(1999). The Mark Twain Project is housed within the Mark Twain Papers, the world's largest archive of primary materials by this major American writer. Under the direction of General Editor Robert H. Hirst, the Project's five editors are producing the first comprehensive edition of all Mark Twain's writings, more than thirty volumes of which have so far been published by the University of California Press.
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.