The Annotated Huckleberry Finn (The Annotated Books)

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9780393020397: The Annotated Huckleberry Finn (The Annotated Books)

A sumptuous annotated edition of the great American novel.

"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illustrations from the first edition, as well as countless archival photographs and drawings, some of them previously unpublished, The Annotated Huckleberry Finn is a book no family's library can do without; it may well prove to be the classic edition of the great American novel. 274 illustrations, two-color throughout

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About the Author:

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), best known to the world by his pen-name Mark Twain, was an author and humorist, noted for his novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), which has been called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876, among many others.

Edward Winsor Kemble (1861–1933) was born in Sacramento, California. An American cartoonist and illustrator, Kemble was commissioned by Mark Twain to illustrate the original edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He also created political cartoons and other illustrations for newspapers and magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, The New York Daily Graphic, and Life.

Michael Patrick Hearn has written for the New York Times, The Nation, and many other publications. His books include From the Silver Age to Stalin: Russian Children's Book Illustration and The Porcelain Cat; he has edited The Victorian Fairy Tale Book, The Annotated Wizard of Oz, The Annotated Christmas Carol, and The Annotated Huckleberry Finn. Hearn lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

Hearn, who edited The Wizard of Oz for Norton's Annotated series, 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. In his long introduction, Hearn chronicles Huck's publishing history, from its on-again, off-again composition, to Twain's stormy relationship with his publishers, to the book's embattled trip to the printer (trailing censorious editors in its wake) and its instant success on the market. Hearn offers a thorough cataloguing of the book's critical reception and many controversies, an ample pinch of biography, a lengthy analysis of dialect and a fairly sketchy historical background. 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. The notes go overboard in their extensive translation of the book's idiomatic speech (readers probably don't need "powwow" defined and can figure out for themselves that "hoss" means horse). 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. (Oct.)Forecast: This is the perfect gift book for all of Huck's fans and should sell very well with the aid of a six-city author tour and national media appearances. Also, in January 2002, a Ken Burns series on Twain will air.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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