10-17-2007 03:41 PM - edited 10-17-2007 03:45 PM
The Innocents Abroad (1869)
Based on correspondence Twain sent to two newspapers recounting his experiences during five months aboard a cruise ship, traveling to Europe and the Holy Land. The collision of the American “New Barbarians” and the European “Old World” provides much comic fodder for Mark Twain -- and a remarkably perceptive lens on the human condition.
Roughing It (1872)
In his youth, Twain traveled extensively throughout the untamed American West with his brother, working his way from town to town in a variety of jobs, including gold prospector, reporter, and lecturer. Roughing It is Twain's personal recollection of his wanderlust years.
The Gilded Age (1873)
Written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, this is a romantic story set in the time of Ulysses S. Grant’s presidency which is highly critical of his administration. Twain’s portion of the novel was later published separately and some play adaptations were based on his character Colonel Sellers, and its title provided the name by which the post-Civil War boom era in American history is still known.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
Perhaps the best-loved nineteenth-century American novel, Mark Twain’s tale of boyhood adventure overflows with comedy, warmth, and slapstick energy -- a joyful ode to the endless possibilities of childhood. But below this sunny surface lurk hints of a darker reality, of youthful innocence and naïveté confronting the cruelty, hypocrisy, and foolishness of the adult world.
Life on the Mississippi (1883)
Learn about Twain’s early life along the river and of his experiences in the years 1857 - 1860, first as a cub riverboat pilot and later as a licensed captain.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
Finn, rebel against school and church, casual inheritor of gold treasure, rafter of the Mississippi, and savior of Jim the runaway slave, is the archetypical American maverick. As Huck learns about love, responsibility, and morality, his trip with Jim becomes a metaphoric voyage through his own soul, culminating in the glorious moment when he decides to "go to hell" rather than return Jim to slavery.
The Prince and the Pauper (1882)
A timeless tale of switched identities, Twain’s story revolves around the miserably poor Tom Canty “of Offal Court,” who is lucky enough to trade his rags for the gilded robes of England’s prince, Edward Tudor. As each boy is mistaken for the other, Tom enters a realm of privilege and pleasure beyond his most delirious dreams, while Edward plunges into a cruel, dangerous world of beggars and thieves, cutthroats and killers.
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896)
This historical novel chronicles the French heroine's life, as purportedly told by her longtime friend -- Sieur Louis de Conté. A panorama of stirring scenes recount Joan's childhood in Domremy, the story of her voices, the fight for Orleans, the splendid march to Rheims, and much more. It's an amazing record that disclosed Twain's unrestrained admiration for Joan's nobility of character.
A Tramp Abroad (1880)
Wwritten eleven years after the best-selling Innocents Abroad, Twain claims to be mad for adventure. Instead, he is more likely to scale a mountain by telescope or launch a fantasy expedition to conquer a mountain hotel. In the end, Twain weaves observation, folk tales, tall tales, and imagination into a narrative that both celebrates travel and satirizes the traveler.
Following the Equator (1897)
In 1897 Twain embarked on a cruise that took him to the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, India and South Africa. Here he makes salient observations on the people and cultures encountered on his trip and how they compared with the American scene.
The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894)
Set in a small Mississippi River town in the state of Missouri before the Civil War, Judge Driscoll is found murdered after a botched robbery attempt. Suspicion is cast upon two former sideshow performers, Luigi and Angelo Capello, until David “Pudd’nhead” Wilson -- a wise but unorthodox lawyer -- solves the murder. It's ultimately a fierce condemnation of a racially prejudiced society.
What Is Man? (1906)
Mark Twain's skeptical assessment of free will, and determinism, religious belief, and the nature of humanity. The book takes the form of a Socratic dialogue between a romantic young idealist and an elderly cynic, who debate such issues as whether man is a machine or a free actor, whether personal merit is meaningless \ given how our environment shapes who we are, and whether man has any impulse other than pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain.
The Mysterious Stranger
This was published posthumously in 1916 as a novelette. In it, Twain discusses his views of God, man, and the universe.
Message Edited by Jessica on 10-17-2007 03:45 PM