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Pudd'nhead Wilson


Pudd'nhead Wilson


Pudd’nhead Wilson tackles the issue of slavery in a tragicomedy of switched identities.

One of the most beloved of Mark Twain’s works, the setting is the Missouri frontier town of Dawson’s Landing on the banks of the Mississippi River in the first half of the 19th century.

Twain asks the question: What happens when a child born free—and a child born a slave—change places?  

Soon, his acid pen and eye for hypocrisy are in full force.

The result is a biting social commentary with enduring relevance, and a good old-fashioned murder mystery.

It also introduces one of Twain’s favorite characters: Pudd’nhead Wilson, an intellectual with a penchant for amateur sleuthing.

A young lawyer, David Wilson, moves to Dawson’s Landing and a chance remark of his is misunderstood, causing locals to brand him a ”pudd’nhead” – a nitwit. In reality, he is a brilliant intellectual, with a penchant for sleuthing.

Pudd’nhead Wilson went on to become one of the best selling of Twain's works during his lifetime, as well as one of the best-selling books of all time.

MARK TWAIN (1835-1910) Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. Author of numerous essays, short stories, and novels, including The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, hailed by Ernest Hemingway as “the Great American Novel.”

“The masterly work of a great writer.”

-F.R. Leavis


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