When we first met "the pariah of the village . . .the son of the drunkard" in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", Tom was "under strict orders not to play with him", so he played with him every time he got the chance. Twain took his most outrageous and outcast character (and perhaps the one he loved the most), Huckleberry Finn, from the book and wrote his own Adventures. This giant work, in addition to entertaining boys and girls for generations, has defined the first-person novel in America, and continues to demand study, inspire reverence and stir controversy in our time.
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.