Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »
Much has been learned since Van Wyck Brooks and Bernard DeVoto debated Mark Twain’s achievement, but no one has drawn these findings together. Writing both as critic and historian, Henry Smith surveys Mark Twain’s development through all the major books. His primary concern is the interaction between Mark Twain’s view of the world and his attitude toward fictional materials, since Twain made the creative process a test for the validity of his observation of life.
The book proceeds from the journalism that culminated in The Innocents Abroad through Huckleberry Finn to the years of despair reflected in The Mysterious Stranger. Never narrowing his focus to exclude the general reader, the author makes it evident that Mark Twain’s literary and philosophical problems embody a basic conflict in late nineteenth-century American culture.