Friday, February 18, 2011

1885: Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain, one of America's most beloved and prolific authors, published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on this day in 1885.  Huckleberry Finn was Tom Sawyer's best friend and the hero in Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).  The adventures of Huckleberry Finn was a much more serious work, focusing on the horrors of slavery and life in the antebellum South.  The story centers on Huck, who travels with his friend Jim, a runaway slave, down the Mississippi on a raft.

Jim has escaped from his owner, who is about to sell him.  The sale would separate
Jim from his wife and family.  Huck, who colorfully narrates the story, tries to help Jim escape Ohio.  The book caused a stir when it was published. 

The Concord, Massachusetts, library banned the book, calling it "tawdry."  Other libraries soon followed.  In the 1950s, African American groups lambasted the book for being racist.



Blogger Suz said...

Oh I would love to have that book
fabulous read too
american really
I may have to reread it again

1:40 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I was just thinking I needed to read that again too. I've started reading books I read in high school. It's amazing how different my perspective

2:34 PM  
Blogger dmarks said...

1885 also gave us Dr Pepper, and that wonderful castle in Germany that is on all the puzzles and photos.

I think that to escape the controversy, they should text-replace "N__ _Jim" with "Stephen Colbert" before publishing any further editions.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Ozkatt said...

I read Huck Finn at a very young age and also Uncle Tom's Cabin and they both made a deep impression on me. I would have been about 10 or 11 at the time and since then, I've hated racism in any form.

Those two books shine the light on a very ugly way of life that used to exist.

12:06 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home