OUSD > Urban Dreams > Language Arts > Extended Literature > Grade 11 > Twain


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The setting of this novel is again the world that Sam Clemens grew up in, although now MT calls the village Dawson's Landing, and has moved it several hundred miles down the Mississippi River. The book was originally published in America, on 28 November 1894, as The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson and the Comedy of Those Extraordinary Twins. It began as a farce about Siamese twins -- two different temperaments inseparably linked in one body -- and wound up becoming an irony about two babies -- one slave, one free -- switched in their cradles. It was never very popular with MT's contemporaries, but as his most direct, sustained treatment of slavery it has attracted considerable attention in our time; there is as yet, however, no agreement about what it's saying. More...

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/railton/wilson/pwhompg.html (Mark Twain in His Times)

Websites about Puddin' Head Wilson

Author Biography:

Born in Florida, Missouri, Clemens moved with his family to Hannibal, Missouri, a port on the Mississippi River, when he was four years old. In 1851 he began setting type for and contributing sketches to his brother Orion's Hannibal Journal. Later, Clemens was a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River until the American Civil War (1861-1865). In 1862 he became a reporter on the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada, and in 1863 he began signing his articles with the pseudonym Mark Twain, a Mississippi River phrase meaning "two fathoms deep." In 1865 Twain published "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and within months the author and the story had become national sensations.

Much of Twain's best work was written in the 1870s and 1880s. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) celebrates boyhood in a town on the Mississippi River; The Prince and the Pauper (1882), a children's book, focuses on switched identities in Tudor England; and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889) satirizes oppression in feudal England (see Feudalism). One of Twain's most significant works of the 1890s and 1900s is Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a novel set in the South before the Civil War that criticizes racism by focusing on mistaken racial identities. More...

http://www.hannibal-missouri.com/Twain.html (Garth Woodside Mansion)

Websites about Mark Twain

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