The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

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Author: Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Published: 1894
Language: English
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 80.3
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 5,323 7064

outside disturbed him. It was carried on in yells, which showed that the people engaged in it were not close together.

"Say, Roxy, how does yo' baby come on?" This from the distant voice.

"Fust-rate. How does you come on, Jasper?" This yell was from close by.

"Oh, I's middlin'; hain't got noth'n' to complain of, I's gwine to come a-court'n you bimeby, Roxy."

"You is, you black mud cat! Yah--yah--yah! I got somep'n' better to do den 'sociat'n' wid niggers as black as you is. Is ole Miss Cooper's Nancy done give you de mitten?" Roxy followed this sally with another discharge of carefree laughter.

"You's jealous, Roxy, dat's what's de matter wid you, you hussy--yah--yah--yah! Dat's de time I got you!"

"Oh, yes, you got me, hain't you. 'Clah to goodness if dat conceit o' yo'n strikes in, Jasper, it gwine to kill you sho'. If you b'longed to me, I'd sell you down de river 'fo' you git too fur gone. Fust time I runs acrost yo' marster, I's gwine t


Average Rating of 3.3 from 4 reviews: ****

This is an important story for the way it describes contemporary life. Though the story seems racist to some readers, Twain is really just explaining some home truths about the birth and lives of slaves and the value placed on these people by their "owners" or their "family." (There was an afterschool special of this story, with Ken Howard as the lawyer.)


Interesting dialects, but uncomfortably racist, and a pretty average story, all told. Not worth reading.


The Tragedy of Puddn'head Wilson caught my interest when I had to study an excerpt from the story as a part of my curriculum in Law and Literature. I really loved the way Twain has used wits in describing situations and the characters. The highlight of the story is the Puddn'head Wilson's almanac which begins with witty and humorous calendar's a must read!

Per-Niklas Taub

[Originally entitled The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson and the Comedy of Those Extraordinary Twins. P-N T]

Although neither one of Twain's most beloved nor his best known books, the novel known as "The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson", is nevertheless packed well enough with all of the luster of any of Twain's most famous novels. In fact, it is something of a paradigm of 19th Century writing-- there is a crime, a coutroom drama, twists and turns, and yet it is not a nod to mystery stories in general. The book is, in fact, biting and therefore stinging social commentary about southern life at that time (having been published on November 28, 1894), and still the commentary is no less relevant to our own time.

"The Tragedy of Puddin' Head Wilson" is, of Twain's later work, less dark and heavily pensive, still he points out that in America racial prejudice is the crimes-- and of course slavery at any time in any history of any people.
And that may be what makes the book, on one level worth a read. It doesn't hurt that it is a MArk Twain novel, that the characters are very well developed-- non more so than the female character of Roxy.

Worth a read, for certain, and if it were a feast for the belly as well: two Michelin stars.

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