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The Annotated Huckleberry Finnby Mark Twain
Synopses & Reviews
This wondrous new edition fully annotated and stunningly illustrated celebrates Twain's great American novel within its historical and literary context, a book vital to students and to be cherished by children and parents alike.
"All modern American literature comes from one book called Huckleberry Finn," declared Ernest Hemingway. "There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since." Yet even from the time of its first publication in 1885, Mark Twain's masterpiece has been one of the most celebrated and controversial books ever published in America. No other story so central to our American identity has been so loved and so reviled as Huck Finn's autobiography.
Michael Patrick Hearn, author of the national bestseller The Annotated Wizard of Oz, has done equal justice to this great American novel. A Twain literary sleuth and an authority on children's literature, he considers all the literary, social, historical, and autobiographical aspects of Twain's classic tale of Huck and Jim's trip down the mighty Mississippi. In lively and fascinating annotations, Hearn's notes draw on everything from letters, manuscripts, and contemporary newspapers to the author's own frequent revisions and notes, various critical responses to the publication, and much previously unpublished material. The substantial introduction is, in essence, a mini-biography of a book and a man whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), and it recounts the novel's remarkably prickly history, resulting in it being banned perhaps more than any other work in American history.
In this new edition, the characters of Hannibal, Missouri, come vividly alive, as if Hearn was steering the raft itself. We encounter, among others, the kind Widow Douglas; the dreaded Miss Watson; the enlightened runaway slave Jim, whom Huck meets on Jackson's Island; an endless parade of bandits, slaveowners, and sheer opportunists; as well as Tom Sawyer and Aunt Sally, whose desire to adopt and "sivilize" Huck propels him to flee to the American West. Likewise, the Mississippi River "emerges as a living force regardless of the vain attempts of men to tame it." Hearn, by illustrating literary and historical themes that we never knew before, demonstrates that Huckleberry Finn did more than merely redefine the "bad-boy's book"; it galvanized and transformed world literature.
This handsomely designed volume, crafted by award-winning book designer Jo Anne Metsch, presents the novel as Mark Twain wrote it, illustrated with all 175 original illustrations by E. W. Kemble in sepia. These are supplemented by rare photographs, drawings, prints, cartoons, maps, the suppressed "obscene" plate, and other Kemble designs, some previously unpublished all of which are wonderfully integrated with the text to bring out the intricacies of Twain's enchanting work. The Annotated Huckleberry Finn is a landmark edition of an American classic that will further insure Twain's importance for generations to come.
"Hearn...has taken on that formative fiction of American culture, Huckleberry Finn, a seemingly transparent work that, as presented in Hearn's exhaustive research, harbors linguistic complexities worthy of an Eliot or a Joyce....The notes themselves (presented alongside the text) are eclectic, sometimes charmingly so: we learn what a huckleberry is, and a sugar-hogshead, and how corn pone is made. Huck's vast repertory of Southern superstitions is carefully glossed, and Hearn wisely includes quotes about the book from Twain (who could scarcely open his mouth without saying something funny) whenever possible....On the whole, Hearn supplies interesting information with a light touch possibly too light in the last third of the book, which seems more thinly annotated than the beginning. Restored passages not seen in the original appear in the appendices. Though a stronger anchor in cultural history could have made this volume better, this liberally illustrated and beautifully designed book offers many pleasures for the general reader." Publishers Weekly
"No Huck and Jim, no American novel as we know it." Ralph Ellison
"Twain, at least in Huckleberry Finn, reveals himself to be one of those writers of whom there are not a great many in any literature, who have discovered a new way of writing, valid not only for themselves, but for others. I should place him, in this respect, even with Dryden and Swift, as one of those rare writers who have brought the language up to date, and in doing so, 'purified the language of the tribe.'" T. S. Eliot
"I suppose I am the ten millionth reader to say that Huckleberry Finn is an extraordinary work." Norman Mailer
"For a hundred years, the argument that this novel is has been identified, reidentified, examined, waged, and advanced. What it cannot be is dismissed. It is classic literature, which is to say it heaves, manifests, and lasts." Toni Morrison
Michael Patrick Hearn re-examines the 116-year heritage of that archetypal American boy, Huck Finn and follows his adventures along every bend of the Mississippi River. Hearn's annotations draw on primary sources including the original manuscript, Twain's revisions and letters, and period accounts.
A complete set to date of the acclaimed, bestselling, definitive editions of literature's great classics: Norton's Annotated Books series.
A sumptuous annotated edition of the great American novel.
'Since its inception in 1999 with The Annotated Alice, the Norton Annotated Books series has been acclaimed and praised for its thoroughly annotated and lushly illustrated editions of great literature—from The Wizard of Ozto The Secret Garden, from the adventures of Sherlock Holmes to the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge. Now all fourteen volumes (to date) of the Norton Annotated Books are available in a single set of 15 books (The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Storiesis two volumes). With lush illustrations (color, two-tone, and black-and-white photos and illustrations throughout each volume) and entertaining, authoritative annotations throughout each, the Annotated Books provide the most entertaining and intimate experiences of these great classics:
The Annotated Alice(by Lewis Carroll with illustrations by John Tenniel, edited by Martin Gardner): The Definitive Edition of The Annotated Alicecombines the notes of Gardner\'s 1960 Annotated Alicewith his 1990 update, More Annotated Alice, as well as additional new discoveries and updates drawn from Gardner\'s encyclopedic knowledge of the texts.
The Annotated Brothers Grimm(by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, edited and translated by Maria Tatar): The Annotated Brothers Grimmcelebrates the richness and dramatic power of the legendary fables with forty stories in new translations by Maria Tatar—including \"Little Red Riding Hood,\" \"Cinderella,\" \"Snow White,\" and \"Rapunzel,\" plus tales that were previously excised, including a few bawdy stories and others that were removed after the Grimms learned that parents were reading the book to their children.
The Annotated Christmas Carol(by Charles Dickens with illustrations by John Leech, edited by Michael Patrick Hearn): With extensive annotations and reading notes, this is the first edition to combine the original text of 1843 with Dickens\'s Public Reading text, which had its world premiere in America in 1867 and had not been reprinted in nearly a century. Also included are rare photographs as well as the original Leech wood engravings and hand-colored etchings.
The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales(edited and translated by Maria Tatar): Tatar, a leading expert in the field of folklore and children\'s literature, guides readers through the stories, exploring their historical origins, their cultural complexities, and their psychological effects. Tatar presents twenty-six classic stories—including \"Beauty and the Beast,\" \"Little Red Hiding Hood,\" \"Jack and the Beanstalk,\" and \"The Little Mermaid.\" Over 300 often rare, mostly four-color photographs, paintings, and illustrations.
The New Annotated Dracula(by Bram Stoker, edited by Leslie S. Klinger): Traveling through two hundred years of popular culture and myth as well as graveyards and the wilds of Transylvania, Klinger\'s notes illuminate every aspect of this haunting narrative, including a detailed examination of the original typescript of Dracula, with its shockingly different ending, previously unavailable to scholars.
The Annotated Hunting of the Snark(by Lewis Carroll with illustrations by Henry Holiday, edited by Martin Gardner): A trove of new annotations and illustrations, uncovering some of the most confounding literary, linguistic, and mathematical references embedded in any of Lewis Carroll\'s many works. Included in this gorgeous, two-color volume is an introduction by Adam Gopnik, as well as Henry Holiday\'s distinctive, original illustrations, a substantial bibliography, and a suppressed drawing of the infamous Boojum.
The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen(by Hans Christian Andersen, edited and translated by Maria Tatar): Tatar celebrates the stories told by Denmark\'s \"perfect wizard.” Andersen\'s most beloved tales, such as \"The Emperor\'s New Clothes,\" \"The Ugly Duckling,\" and \"The Little Mermaid,\" are now joined by \"The Shadow\" and \"Story of a Mother,\" mature stories that reveal his literary range and depth, showing exactly how Andersen became one of the world\'s ten most translated authors, along with Shakespeare, Dickens, and Marx.
The Annotated Huckleberry Finn(by Mark Twain with illustrations by E. W. Kemble, edited by Michael Patrick Hearn): Hearn\'s copious annotations draw on primary sources including the original manuscript, Twain\'s revisions and letters, and period accounts. Reproducing the original E. W. Kemble illustrations from the first edition, as well as countless archival photographs and drawings, some of them previously unpublished.
The Annotated Secret Garden(by Frances Hodgson Burnett, edited by Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina): Gerzina, the author of the definitive biography of Frances Hodgson Burnett, brings out aspects of Burnett\'s life that led her to write the much-loved tale read by generations of children, details of the Victorian England time period, attitudes toward children, and Burnett\'s spiritual leanings. With over one hundred illustrations, many in vibrant color.
The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Stories, in two slipcased volumes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, edited by Leslie S. Klinger): In two elegantly slipcased volumes, Klinger, a leading world authority, reassembles Arthur Conan Doyle\'s 56 classic short stories in the order in which they appeared in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century book editions. Inside, a cornucopia of insights: beginners will benefit from Klinger\'s insightful biographies of Holmes, Watson, and Conan Doyle; history lovers will revel in the wealth of Victorian literary and cultural details; Sherlockian fanatics will puzzle over tantalizing new theories; art lovers will thrill to the 700-plus illustrations.
The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Novels, in a slipcased volume (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, edited by Leslie S. Klinger): The four classic novels of Sherlock Holmes available in a new slipcased edition. Klinger reassembles Doyle\'s four seminal novels (A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and The Valley of Fear) in their original order, with over 1,000 new notes, 350 illustrations and period photographs, and tantalizing new Sherlockian theories.
The Annotated Uncle Tom\'s Cabin(by Harriet Beecher Stowe, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Hollis Robbins): Declared worthless and dehumanizing by James Baldwin in 1949, Uncle Tom\'s Cabinhas lacked literary credibility for fifty years. Now, in a ringing refutation of Baldwin, Henry Louis Gates Jr. demonstrates the literary transcendence of Harriet Beecher Stowe\'s masterpiece, providing new insights into emerging race-relation, women\'s, gay, and gender issues. With reproductions of rare prints, posters, and photographs, this book is also one of the most thorough anthologies of Uncle Tom images up to the present day. .
The Annotated Wind in the Willows(by Kenneth Grahame, edited by Annie Gauger): Discover the sheer joy of the original text, restored to the original 1908 version, illustrated with hundreds of full-color images—including the beloved drawings by E. H. Shepard and Arthur Rackham. This edition reproduces the original letters in their entirety and includes nearly a thousand delightful annotations on everything from automobiles (Toad drove an Armstrong Hardcastle Special Eight) and early motorcar etiquette to modern manifestations (Disneyland\'s Mr. Toad\'s Wild Ride).
The Annotated Wizard of Oz(by L. Frank Baum, with illustrations by W. W. Denslow, edited by Michael Patrick Hearn): Hearn, the world\'s leading Oz scholar, provides a spellbinding annotated edition that illuminates all of Oz\'s numerous contemporary references, provides fascinating character sources, and explains the actual meaning of the word \"Oz.\" A facsimile of the rare 1900 first edition appears with the original drawings by W. W. Denslow—scrupulously reproduced to mimic their correct colors, using a different color for each region of Oz—as well as twenty-five previously unpublished illustrations.'
"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn," Ernest Hemingway once declared. First published in 1885, the book has delighted millions of readers, while simultaneously riling contemporary sensibilities, and is still banned in many schools and libraries. Now, Michael Patrick Hearn, author of the best-selling The Annotated Wizard of Oz, thoroughly reexamines the 116-year heritage of that archetypal American boy, Huck Finn, and follows his adventures along every bend of the mighty Mississippi River. Hearn's copious annotations draw on primary sources including the original manuscript, Twain's revisions and letters, and period accounts. Reproducing the original E. W. Kemble illustrations from the first edition, as well as countless archival photographs and drawings, some of them previously unpublished, The Annotated Huckleberry Finn is a book no family's library can do without; it may well prove to be the classic edition of the great American novel.
About the Author
Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri, Mark Twain is one of the most important figures in world literature. Known for his comic wit, his courageous social satire, and his extraordinary depiction of American small-town life, Twain has become a cornerstone of American culture.
Michael Patrick Hearn is the author of The Annotated Wizard of Oz and The Annotated Christmas Carol and has written for The New York Times, The Nation, and many other publications. He lives in New York City.
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