In addition to the entire text of what some consider the quintessential American novel, this comprehensive volume features materials that help place the novel in perspective with its time and place. "Contexts" includes essays on the composition of the novel, the people and history of the Upper Mississippi Valley, slavery, and the critical reception of the novel upon its publication. "Readings" includes Henry Nash Smith's introduction to the 1958 Riverside Edition of the novel, as well as critical essays.
A seminal work of American Literature that still commands deep praise and still elicits controversy, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is essential to the understanding of the American soul. The recent discovery of the first half of Twain's manuscript, long thought lost, made front-page news. And this unprecedented edition, which contains for the first time omitted episodes and other variations present in the first half of the handwritten manuscript, as well as facsimile reproductions of thirty manuscript pages, is indispensable to a full understanding of the novel. The changes, deletions, and additions made in the first half of the manuscript indicate that Mark Twain frequently checked his impulse to write an even darker, more confrontational book than the one he finally published.